Nonprofit holds showcase to promote community, recovery through music

Singer-songwriter Jason Chaffee plays guitar ahead of a showcase at Royal Foundry Craft Spirits for the nonprofit Dissonance. (FOX 9)

A Twin Cities organization is holding a showcase at Royal Foundry Craft Spirits in Minneapolis in an effort to build community and use the arts as a path out of isolation, depression, and addiction.

For singer-songwriter Jason Chaffee, his guitar is therapy.

"But I think music in general is, I was meant to be in it and it saved my life in an odd way," said Chaffee.

Chaffee credits music for saving his life from addiction.

"I’ve been in recovery since 2015," said Chaffee. "It’s been a challenge with that. A lot of my support groups and meetings that I do moved to the online format and Zoom. And it’s just not the same to, you know, to have that connection, that human connection."

A return to in-person connection returns Thursday night at Royal Foundry Craft Spirits in Minneapolis. Twelve performers associated with the nonprofit organization Dissonance are coming together to celebrate its fifth anniversary.

"So we talk about mental health and recovery, sobriety support, providing resources and connecting people to a network of people with like values," said Sarah Souder Johnson, a therapist and founder of Dissonance.

In this case, that common bond is the arts and performing. Chaffee will perform with 11 other artists Thursday night. All are celebrating the power of music and the arts to connect them to a better life.

"The biggest thing I want people to walk away with is a sense of community and a sense of hope," said Souder Johnson.

"I think the primary goal is to lessen the stigma that we are all going through something no matter what, and just small acts of kindness," said Chaffee. "No matter if it’s just asking somebody how they’re doing or, you know, waving to a stranger or smiling, that’s it. And Dissonance is really trying to promote lessening the stigma."

The performances start at 7 p.m. Thursday and are free and open to the public.