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Chester County Press

Film screening puts Gateway HorseWorks in spotlight

05/16/2019 02:51PM ● By J. Chambless

To kick off the Devon Horse Show week, Gateway HorseWorks, a non-profit that incorporates horses for the mental health treatment of people, is holding a screening of the Sundance hit executive produced by Robert Redford, “The Mustang,” about prisoners healing via work with horses.

The screening will be held May 22 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre (227 Bridge St., Phoenixville). The discussion will take place at around 8:15 p.m.

Movie co-star, Thomas Smittle, will join in a conversation following the movie with Kristen de Marco, founder and executive director of Gateway HorseWorks, about his work on the film, his past incarceration, and how horses saved his life after prison.

Proceeds from the event will support GHW’s “Stable Pathways” program, initially developed to assist women in the pre-release center of Chester County Prison, but with plans to expand to include men and reach other correctional facilities in the region.

The event is open to the public. General admission tickets are $35 and include a non-alcoholic beverage and a small popcorn. VIP tickets are $75 and include early entry at 6 p.m. and a meet-and-greet with Thomas Smittle.

One of seven community programs offered by Gateway HorseWorks is Stable Pathways, a trauma-informed, equine-assisted psychotherapy program developed for people in the pre-release center of Chester County Prison to address anxiety, depression and support reentry.

Sessions are facilitated by a treatment team consisting of a licensed mental health professional and an equine specialist. Participants explore various issues like communication, boundaries, trust, and respect while interacting with the horses.

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