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December 23. 2012 7:09PM

Peterborough gallery owner reaches out with power of art

PETERBOROUGH - Moved by the Newtown, Conn., shooting, a Peterborough artist and gallery owner is striving to tighten guns laws as well as reach out to children in the community.

Mona Adisa Brooks, known for her porcelain figures and dolls, started Trumpet Gallery in Peterborough earlier this year.

"The paradigm shifted after the Newtown event for a lot of people," Brooks said Thursday. "I asked myself the question, and I don't know the answer to this question, but when I think about it I ask myself this question: What is missing?"

The self-assessment prompted Brooks to take two actions.

First she started a petition to push for federal gun control laws.

"Enough is enough. We need to protect our children period. And our children, these innocent babies, we need to protect our children and not through the use of more guns," Brooks said.

Brooks is also opening up her gallery on Grove Street for community outreach.

"What I'm going to do is offer free drawing sessions for children and their parents at the gallery," she said. "They are not classes, just an opportunity for a drop-in center for little kids, big kids and adults to come in and quietly sit down and draw together."

As an artist and gallery owner, Brooks said she feels this is how she can help children cope with their feelings about Newtown, but also help a perennially stressed community get their emotions out through creating art.

"I have made a lifelong commitment. As long as the need is there I will be there," she said. "We need a dialogue. We need to create a dialogue and individually do what we can to change. Something's got to change. I just asked a question 'what can I do' and that's what I came up with," Brooks said.

Brooks can be contacted at monaadisabrooks@gmail.com or 924-9862.

Her petition can be found at https://petitions.whitehouse.gov.

mpierce@newstote.com


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