Healing arts programs for military veterans
Art, dance, theater, film, writing, etc...
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American Healing Arts Foundation
The American Healing Arts Foundation (AHAF) is a non-profit organization that promotes art classes at no cost to our veterans. Our mission is to give veterans new hope, offer them our support, friendship and additionally give them an art career opportunity. Art is proven to be therapeutic for the mind body and soul. We are looking forward to our ultimate goal of the ‘Veterans Academy of Art’.
- Every man and woman that has ever served our country is eligible for the art classes.
- Wounded warriors and their families have an added financial burden which is why we offer no cost art classes.
- Art therapy classes offer veterans the ability to interact with world-renowned art instructors, witness their own creative side and exercise the power of rehabilitation.
- Classes are intended to reunite veterans with their peers, away from hospitals and the battlefield, in a peaceful environment.
- Every veteran is given the opportunity to discover their talents and achieve an art career.
- After a series of classes, veterans will leave with encouragement, hopefulness, inspiration and a sense of peace as well as self-satisfaction.
Armed Services Arts Partnership
The Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP) helps veterans, service members, and military families reintegrate into their communities through the arts. ASAP offers six- to ten-week classes and weekend workshops, which are focused on promoting expression, skill-building, and social support, in the following art forms:
- Stand-Up Comedy: Comedy Bootcamp is the first stand-up comedy class in the country for veterans and military families. Led by professional comedy instructors and alumni of the program, this seven-week course teaches students the basics of stand-up comedy through hands-on instruction and workshopping sessions. Each course culminates with a public show, where students perform their stand-up sets to audience members from the community.
- Improv: ASAP's improv program is one of the only improv classes for veterans and military families in the U.S. These eight-week courses, which are offered in partnership with local improv theaters, provide veterans with a safe, constructive, and team-oriented environment to learn improv, build valuable skills, and have fun. Each class concludes with a public graduation performance for members of the local community.
- Storytelling: In partnership with Story District, which has been called the "gold standard" in storytelling by the Washington Post, ASAP offers a six-week storytelling class free for veterans, service members, and military families. Through instruction and constructive workshopping, this program helps students translate experiences and stories into meaningful performances. The course closes with a public performance for friends, family, and community members.
- Creative Writing: ASAP's Veterans Writing Groups (VWG) offer cost-free, monthly creative writing sessions to service members, veterans, and military families of all writing backgrounds and skill levels. Led by professors and professional writers, group members are able to respond to writing prompts, workshop new and existing material, and showcase their work at public readings.
- Community Arts Workshops: ASAP partners with local teaching artists, arts organizations, and colleges to offer a variety of intensive workshops for the military community. These highly interactive, full-weekend workshops are hosted every other month, focus on a major project, and culminate with a public showcase.
In addition to these core offerings, ASAP partners with local colleges, arts organizations, and performance venues to offer its graduates continuous opportunities for artistic and personal growth. For example, ASAP hosts monthly Veterans Open Mics and performances with community partners, and, through its Alumni Mentor Program, trains its comedy and improv alumni to become teaching artists. In the process, ASAP provides its students and alumni with transferable life skills, a renewed purpose and identity, and healing benefits, and strengthens ties between veterans and their communities through the arts.
Ars Bellum Foundation (St. Paul, MN)
The mission of the Ars Bellum Foundation is to provide clinical art therapy programs for veterans and their families with PTSD and related mental health conditions as a result of trauma from their service, and then showcase that art in our Beyond the Battlefield Art Exhibition to raise awareness and educate the public about the realities our soldiers face when they come home.
Art for Veterans (Flags Across America) (Charlotte, NC)
The Art for Veterans project brings creative and healing support to our veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. We also welcome veterans from other conflicts and wars to participate with us. This project provides veterans with free art materials, art lessons and art space. We believe that in the process of creating art, healing can take place.
Free painting and drawing classes are being offered to veterans in Mecklenburg/Union county areas, North Carolina. Veterans can participate in a 4 week session that meets once a week for 2 hours. If you are a veteran, you will have the opportunity to express your feelings through the use of drawing and painting techniques. A supportive and caring environment will be made available to you to create art that has meaning and healing experiences for you. At the end of the four week period, art supplies will be gifted to you.
Art of War Project
Art of War Project was founded to inspire hope and contribute the the health and well being of American Veterans dealing with PTSD. By providing a positive outlet through art and other creative endeavors, we seek to make lives better.
The program was founded in 2013 by a veteran who has been affected by PTSD and found a positive and healthy way to deal with it. Art of War Project is not just about art therapy, it is dedicated to helping veterans in any way possible. We help veterans get connected to the proper resources to deal with issues in their lives. Whether interested in art therapy or not, we will help you find was resources that you require to help you live a happy and healthy life.
Artwork by Veterans
Artwork by Veterans (AbV) seeks to help Americans understand military service through artwork created by veterans. By networking with Museums and Curators we provide accessible venues for past and present Warriors. AbV artwork and exhibits reveal the effects of war upon our nation’s heroes, provides veterans with a creative venue for expression, and promotes patriotism in a positive light.
The five aims of Artwork by Veterans:
- Collect, preserve, and exhibit artwork inspired by veterans.
- Educate the American public about military heritage through the Arts
- Connect the American soldier to the American public
- Inspire Patriotism in the community
- Help our warriors heal through the therapy creating art provides.
In recent years, interests in the relationships between art and healing have become a talking point in the medical world. More than three-hundred professional organizations are researching, documenting, and systematizing how engagement with these creative processes impact PTSD, TBI and Depression. AbV wants to join this conversation by providing a creative venue for our nation’s heroes.
Blanket of Freedom (Buford, GA)
Blanket of Freedom (BOF) is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to providing services to combat veterans struggling with mental illness by providing an Expressive/Drama Therapeutic Intervention program which provides an alternative to traditional treatment programs. This approach can provide the context for participants to tell their stories, set goals and solve problems, express feelings, or achieve catharsis. Through drama, the depth and breadth of inner experience can be actively explored and interpersonal relationship skills can be enhanced. Participants can expand their repertoire of dramatic roles to find that their own life roles have been strengthened.
Blue Star Theatre
Blue Star Theatres is a collaboration between Theatre Communications Group and Blue Star Families, with leadership support from the MetLife Foundation. The first launch of the program is September 28, 2012, with 21 theatres participating. Through Blue Star Theatres, we plan to help better connect theatre offerings to military personnel across the United States. This initiative is intended to recognize the contributions of service families, to build stronger connections between the theatre community and military families in communities all across the country and to help in whatever small way we can to aid service people and their families as they seek to be integrated into the lives of their communities. Each participating Blue Star Theatre is offering discounted or complimentary admission to all military personnel and their families, as well as veterans. Education programs and other theatre opportunities may be discounted as well. Please see the map below for participating theatres.
Brat Art Institute (Norfolk, VA)
The BRAT Art Institute is the first multidisciplinary art institute for Military Brats in the world. Currently based out of Virginia, which has one of the largest concentrations of military families in America, the BRAT Art Institute will initially feature:
- Art camps & workshops for military kids & teens, guided by professional artists who were also raised in military families.
- Professional development for teachers and counselors who work with military youth.
- Community forums to share the resulting artwork and educational curriculum, and spark dialogue that will narrow the civilian-military cultural divide – one student and one teacher at a time.
- A library of Military Brat art, history, and research, in one place, for generations to come.
Breaking Rag (Fort Bragg, NC)
Breaking Rag is a veteran, family, and community art project, facilitated by veteran/artist Trish Brownlee, serving Fort Bragg and surrounding counties.
Breaking Rag offers public demos, awareness events and workshops to veterans, their families, and the community, specializing in creating paper and artwork from worn military uniforms. The goal of these workshops is to assist participants in creating their own artwork that communicates their military experience. Through art, we are able to break through assumptions and stereotypes and find real connection.
Button Field Press
Through papermaking, printmaking, book arts, and writing workshops Button Field attempts to create artistic space for veterans and communities to dialogue about their experiences.
During papermaking workshops participants use their uniforms and articles of clothing that have personal signifigance to create works of art.
Whether the art is commemorative of an experience or attempts to overcome it through the cathartic process, the communication that happens in and around workshops serves to let people know that an experience does not have to be locked away like an old uniform in the attic of the mind.
Combat Paper Project
From uniform to pulp - Battlefield to workshop - Warrior to artist
The Combat Paper Project utilizes art making workshops to assist veterans in reconciling and sharing their personal experiences as well as broadening the traditional narrative surrounding service and the military culture.
Through papermaking workshops veterans use their uniforms worn in combat to create cathartic works of art. The uniforms are cut up, beaten into a pulp and formed into sheets of paper. Veterans use the transformative process of papermaking to reclaim their uniform as art and begin to embrace their experiences in the military.
The Combat Paper Project is based out of art studios throughout the United States and has traveled to Canada and the United Kingdom, providing veterans workshops, exhibitions, performances and artists' talks. This project is made possible by a multifaceted collaboration between artists, art collectors, academic institutions and veterans.
Common Ground on the Hill Veterans Initiative (Westminster, MD)
In 2012, Common Ground on the Hill launched its Veterans Initiative, providing full scholarships for ten veterans to attend the Traditions Weeks summer workshops at McDaniel College in Maryland. The experience was transformative. Both veterans and civilians thrived in an environment of mutual respect and sharing, engaging in an essential and difficult dialogue.
The Common Ground on the Hill Veterans Initiative seeks to provide a safe space for veterans to grow and to share, to process their experiences and teach others, while gaining a new perspective from their peers at the summer workshops. It's difficult to explain the transformative effect of Common Ground on the Hill unless you have experienced it. But the veterans who participated in our inaugural year of the Common Ground Veterans Initiative spoke of nothing less than a life-changing impact.
Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network
The NEA and Department of Defense have expanded its military healing arts program into Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. The expanded Creative Forces program places creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care at ten additional clinical sites – for a total of twelve – and increases access to therapeutic arts activities in local communities for military members, veterans, and their families. The program is also investing in research on the impacts and benefits of these innovative treatment methods.
Since 2011, this military healing arts partnership has supported creative arts therapies for service members with traumatic brain injury and associated psychological health issues at two military medical facilities in the Washington, DC, area—the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Walter Reed Bethesda in Maryland, and the NICoE Intrepid Spirit-1 at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. As of October 25, 2016, these are the Creative Forces clinical sites. Additional programs as they are added will be listed on the Creative Forces website.
- National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Walter Reed, Bethesda, MD
- Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), Anchorage AK
- Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, CA
- Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, NC
- Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA
CreatiVets (Chicago, IL and Nashville, TN)
CreatiVets' goal is to offer opportunities of relief and healing for the men and women who have sacrificed so much our country. Our purpose is to use various forms of art, including songwriting, visual arts, music and creative writing, to help disabled veterans cope with service-related trauma (i.e., post-traumatic stress, or PTS) by fostering self-expression in a way that allows them to transform their stories of trauma and struggle into an art form that can inspire and motivate continued healing.
Dryhootch Artful Warriors program (Milwaukee, WI)
Artful Warriors is a coffee house art group that meets from 11-3 on Tuesdays at Dryhootch veterans coffee house at 1030 E Brady Street, Milwaukee WI. This group is for those who wish to follow the journey of the Artful Warrior members and various activities.
Exit 12 Dance Company
Exit 12 Dance Company's vision is to widely impact audiences for the greater good by both raising awareness of societal themes through dance, and cultivating a socially significant dialogue with innovative educational programming.
Exit 12 Dance Company serves as an artistic ambassador with the mission of integrating high-quality dance performance and powerful, relevant cultural messages. With a commitment to military themes, the troop strives to reach veterans, youth, and unlikely communities in effort to educate, enrich, and empower audiences through classical and contemporary movement.
Feast of Crispian, Inc. (Milwaukee, WI)
Feast of Crispian, Inc. (FoC) brings together professional theater practitioners and service veterans to build community by using acting skills and the timeless words of William Shakespeare in order to teach and deepen emotional resources veterans need to overcome traumatic and reintegration issues. Through weekend intensives, weekly classes and full productions, FoC seeks to recreate the camaraderie and feeling of belonging veterans miss from military life, as well as give a safe way of exploring the overwhelming emotions that they may experience when returning to civilian life.
Foundation for Art and Healing
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) represent significant burdens for those afflicted, their caregivers, and military and civilian healthcare delivery systems. New approaches are urgently needed to help active service members suffering from PTSD & TBI thrive on duty and successfully transition to civilian life.
The application of creative and expressive therapies as part of treatment plans has recently shown significant and sustained benefit at leading institutions such as Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, and various VA institutions across the country.
The Foundation for Art and Healing is committed to extending the impact of this early field work by bringing greater awareness to how art and creative engagement powerfully influences the overall healing of PTSD and TBI and connecting people with helpful resources.
GI Film Festival
The GI Film Festival (GIFF) is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to sharing the military experience in and out of the arena of war. The festival is the first in the nation to exclusively celebrate the successes and sacrifices of the service member through the medium of film.
Harmony for Heroes
Harmony for Heroes demonstrates our appreciation for our military by sharing classical music at the Veterans Administration Hospital Living Centers in Tacoma and Seattle. We share music at least once per month at each campus.
Harmony for Heroes shares classically-based music with veterans, current military and their families to provide support in any capacity we may discover a need.
Help Heal Veterans
HealVets provides therapeutic arts and crafts kits to veterans receiving medical care. These kits keep hands active, minds alert and help with recovery.
Hospitalized Veterans Writing Project (Veterans' Voices)
The mission of HVWP is to encourage veterans to write, through the coordinated efforts of volunteers and/or VA medical center staff. Veterans often experience traumatic and life-changing experiences in the service of their country. Writing serves as therapy for many veterans who participate through the VA medical centers across the United States of America.
HVWP’s therapeutic writing program is designed to acknowledge veterans’ experiences and build self-esteem through creative expression and possible publication. Veterans are encouraged to submit their manuscripts (prose, poetry and artwork) for national publication in Veterans’ Voices, the only publication dedicated solely to veterans’ writings.
Veteran’s Voices is published with contributions to the Hospitalized Veterans’ Writing Project.
Independence Fund's Art of Healing (Ridgeland, SC)
Art therapy plays an important role in the healing process. Veterans have been self-medicating with art long before it was recognized as a effective tool in the battle against PTSD. Exhibits produced by Independence Fund have helped raise awareness and educate the public about veterans issues in numerous venues across the country.
The Independence Fund needs your help to start on the path of building “Phase 1” of an Independence Center at Palm Key, near Ridgeland, SC. Palm Key has been the host of over 300 severely handicapped veterans and their caregivers, demonstrating the healing powers of this tranquil and beautiful maritime woodland on the salt marshes along the Broad River. Now we need a place of permanence.
Military Experience and the Arts
Military Experience and the Arts is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization whose primary mission is to work with veterans and their families to publish creative prose, poetry, and artwork. We also work with scholars to publish articles related to veterans’ issues in the humanities and social sciences. Our volunteers are based all over, including college professors, professional authors, veterans’ advocates, and clinicians. As such, most of our services are done through email and in online writing workshops. All editing, consultations, and workshops are free of charge to those accepted for publication.
National Creative Arts Festival
Nationwide, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities use the creative arts as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help Veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities. Across the country each year, Veterans treated at VA facilities compete in a local creative arts competition. The competition includes 53 categories in the visual arts division this year that range from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits. In addition, there are 120 categories in the performing arts pertaining to all aspects of music, dance, drama and creative writing. A national selection committee chooses first, second and third place winners among all of the entries. Select winners are invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival each year.
National Veterans Art Museum
The National Veterans Art Museum inspires greater understanding of the impact of war with a focus on Vietnam. The museum collects, preserves and exhibits art inspired by combat and created by veterans.
The National Veterans Art Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation and exhibition of art inspired by combat and created by veterans.
Since its inception in 1981, the NVAM has been a space for military personnel, veterans, and civilians to open a dialogue over the impact of war. All artwork is created by veterans.
The truly unique museum features work by combat veterans from all conflicts. The National Veterans Art Museum also has many educational opportunities to help you access, explore and connect with our one-of-a-kind collection.
Originally Incorporated in 1982 as the Vietnam Veterans Art Group, NVAM is proud to be recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization.
National Veterans Creative Arts Festival
Nationwide, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities use the creative arts as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities. Across the country each year, veterans enrolled at VA health care facilities compete in a local creative arts competition. The competition includes 51 categories in the visual arts division this year that range from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits. In addition, there are 100 categories in the performing arts pertaining to all aspects of music, dance, drama and creative writing. Through a national judging process, first, second and third place entries in each category are determined.
Operation Revamp, Inc. (Grand Junction, CO)
Operation Revamp, Inc. is an organization that is working for the veterans and military families effected by trauma. It has been estimated that 20% of returning combat veterans have PTSD. Suicide rates among the military exceed the national average. 25% of the homeless population are veterans. Unemployment among returning veterans is higher than for civilians.
Art provides an opportunity to heal from these symptoms and difficulties. We provide the vehicle for the art. We are offering art classes to veterans and military families. Currently, these are offered locally in Grand Junction, Colorado but we will expand to other areas as interest demands and funding provides. Our Colorado headquarters has established an open studio where our participating artists will be able to access studio space as needed. We also assist our artists in sale of their art in our gift shop and will host other events such as silent auctions, the wall of art and art competitions.
Our music room is now ready for practice, lessons, jam sessions and some recording.
Reflections of Generosity
Reflections of Generosity is a traveling exhibit dedicated to serving Soldiers, veterans and their families. It is under the umbrella of Theatre, Inc.
Rochester Veterans Writing Group (Rochester, NY)
Rochester Veterans Writing Group meets monthly. It is free, and open to veterans of every age and every rank.
Semper Fi Fund Therapeutic Arts
This type of assistance provides a positive outlet for injured service members which helps accelerate their physical, emotional and mental rehabilitation. Grants for Therapeutic Arts cover areas such as musical instruments and education, arts supplies and art education.
SHOUT! For Women Veterans (Swords to Plowshares)
SHOUT! For Women Veterans, is a project by Swords to Plowshares. SHOUT! is a yearly event to celebrate women veteran and was inspired by the notion that the arts encourage expression and healing. This event attracts hundreds of veterans and supporters to share in the artistic expression of women veterans through photography, painting, and spoken word. SHOUT! raises awareness about the issues facing women veterans and explores the intersections of art, community, health and healing.
Soldiers Who Salsa
Soldiers Who Salsa serves wounded, ill, and injured military service members in locations where they may already be receiving treatment or therapy. Our locations are set up at military medical facilities, and are often coordinated with Physical Therapy, Psychiatry, and Recreational Therapy. Depending on the location, our classes are typically provided through a therapy program though some may be offered on an ongoing drop in basis. Check the calendar for the classes being offered in your area.
When we first began offering classes, our focus was with patients working on balance on coordination with their prosthetic limbs. Therapists quickly saw that the benefits these patients were receiving could also apply to those with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). In addition to balance and coordination, memory recall and multi-function activities became important visible results.
Because salsa dancing is such a social activity, it has also been invaluable to patients with post-traumatic stress (PTS) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Common symptoms of PTS/PTSD include an aversion to close contact, avoidance of new activities and new surroundings, and reluctance to meet new people. Our classes provide a safe place for patients to not only learn a new activity, but also work on several of the most common symptoms. It is not uncommon to see patients laughing, smiling, and engaging with new people each week
Survivors Empowered Through Art, Inc.
Survivors Empowered Through Art, Inc. is a newly formed non-profit founded by Executive Director, Rachel Beauchene. Our mission is to raise awareness about sexual assault, including military sexual trauma, through art and narrative storytelling. We are currently working on two projects: Speaking Out: Why I Stand and Project Retrospect: Flipping the Script on Rape.
Syracuse Veterans' Writing Group (New York)
The Syracuse Veterans' Writing group is open to all veterans and their supporters The focus of our group is on writing nonfiction accounts or "true stories" of life in and out of the military.
Veterans of all ages, branches of the military, and conflicts are welcome. You need not have any prior experience with writing, just a desire to write your stories and share them with others.
The Art Therapy Project (New York)
The Art Therapy Project is dedicated to helping trauma survivors through the creative process. Centered around challenges of Family, Violence and Health, we are the only nonprofit in New York dedicated solely to providing guided art therapy to those seeking hope and support. We go beyond traditional talk therapy. Our clients and art therapists work together to turn negative energy positive. Some projects include:
- Women and Men Survivors of Sexual Trauma: An ongoing group for women and men survivors of sexual trauma provides participants an opportunity to connect with others and counteract the feelings of isolation that are common for this population.
- Women's and Men's Veterans Groups: Several different groups meet the needs of both male and female veterans confronting issues surrounding re-entry to civilian life, post-traumatic stress, military sexual trauma, substance abuse and homelessness.
The Big Red Barn Retreat (Blythewood, SC)
The Big Red Barn Retreat is a 501(c)(3) and strives to create a peaceful, nurturing, therapeutic haven in a natural setting to provide a feeling of peace, tranquility and a sense of connection and stability for those in need. We service those suffering from PTSD and other combat related stress issues. We currently offer equine assisted psychotherapy, therapeutic yoga and a healing arts program.
Healing Arts Program - We are honored to have Jim Dukes as our Director of Healing Art Programs at the BRB Retreat! Jim's background was originally in engineering, but he began his art career 3 years ago while recovering from his fifth Traumatic Brain Injury and in therapy for PTSD. Jim was an explosive ordinance disposal technician for a DoD contractor with the United Nations in Iraq and was unfortunately "blown up twice". Now permanently disabled from his injuries and exposures, he dedicates his energy to providing healing outlets to others in need in order to help them heal from the inside out.
What is Healing Art you ask?
Scientific studies tell us that art heals by changing a person's physiology and attitude. The body's physiology changes from one of stress to one of deep relaxation, from one of fear to one of creativity and inspiration. Through art, a language that talks to the inner process is established and a person is able to access and talk about feelings and thoughts associated with the impact on the physical self, promoting understanding and healing.
Jim facilitates an art program using a multitude of mediums so participants can explore raw emotion and life experiences that are meant to tear them down, so as a group or community, they become stronger.
The Dirty Canteen
The Dirty Canteen is a collaboration of Artists who are part of this generation's Veteran Art Movement.
The Artists involved in The Dirty Canteen are actively committed to helping fellow Veterans by providing them with means of expression and support as well as informing and educating the public.
The Graffiti of War Project
Offering a unique, individual perpective, through their eyes and their emotions. Each image represents a moment in time, when an emotion was captured in ink, paint, or pencil, an unconventional historical record of this generation's war.
Our mission is that through sharing these images, we will begin a dialog between soldier and civilian, to bridge this ever-widening divide between those who have endured these wars and the rest of the world that can only imagine the horrors. To bring understanding and true empathy of what these men and women experience during modern conflicts.
Now more than ever, our veterans are becoming homeless faster than compared to those coming home from Vietnam.* According to a recent CBS 60 Minutes story, when Vietnam veterans came back, it took 8 to 10 years before they succumbed to homelessness. Now, within a year of separation from the Armed Forces, our warfighters are on the street, homeless. Though some of them are victims of our economy, these staggering statistics point to the increased occurence of invisible wounds such as mTBI, TBI and PTSD.
The ultimate goal of this project and book is help raise awareness of these invisible wounds of war and with the help of our non-profit partners such as GiveAnHour.org, develop both traditional and non-traditional forms of treatment such as Music and Art Therapy.
The Journal of Military Experience
The Journal of Military Experience illuminates veteran culture through creative and scholarly expression, helping veterans heal and society understand.
The Telling Project
The Telling Project is a national performing arts non-profit that employs theater to deepen our understanding of the military and veteran experience. Greater understanding fosters receptivity, easing veterans’ transitions back to civil society, and allowing communities to benefit from the skills and experience they bring with them. Through this understanding, a community deepens its connection to its veterans, itself, and its place in the nation and the world.
The Veterans Art Foundation
Our foundation is open to any U.S. Armed Services Veteran and their family members.
Our goals are:
- To ease transition into civilian life for returning vets through different means.
- Allow members to express themselves through art, writing, multimedia, and public speaking.
- To help disabled veterans gain a semblance of order in their life
- To bridge the gap between the art world and veterans.
The Veterans National Entertainment Workshop
The purpose of the Veterans National Entertainment Workshop helps veterans cope with stress and maintain a level of positive mental health through the incorporation of music, dance, theater, and entertaining productions that they can directly participate in.
This non profit program offers veterans the opportunity to perform their own material for the general public. Those who participate will be afforded the opportunity to work with Hollywood professionals. Those who do not perform will be given the opportunity to work developing sets and helping with the technical aspects of production.
The programs will consist of music, comedy, drama and dance to be performed by the veterans themselves. The shared hope of the program will be to bring laughter, song and positive introspection to vets who oftentimes are faced with high levels of stress.
The Veterans Writing Group (San Diego County, CA)
Do you have a story to tell? The Veterans’ Writing Group – San Diego (VWG-SD) is an awesome, informal group that welcomes Vet Writers of ALL skill levels.
The VWG-SD is supported by the Writers Guild Foundation (WGF) and mentored by various local professional writers - who help veterans improve their writing skills, develop a creative outlet, share their experiences, and explore the possibilities of a career in writing!
The War Experience Project
The War Experience Project is encouraging artistic expression for current and former military services members: warriors. Through acrylic painting workshops warriors reveal their own unique expression of their experience onto a military uniform blouse, revealing what has been in the uniform but never seen except those who have worn it. This process begins community dialogue on veterans terms through art.
The Wounded Artist Project
The Wounded Artist Project is a Michigan-based nonprofit that is sending art kits to war wounded recovering in military hospitals.
We believe The Project art kits will provide a welcome diversion from boredom for wounded recovering from traumatic wounds, burns, and amputations when they are in downtime from regular therapy sessions. And while art is a recognized tool for helping people deal with trauma, we want our kit recipients to also use our kits and think about their futures. Somewhere, sometime, someone will look over the shoulder of one our artists and ask, "Wow, you really drew that?" Imagine how encouraging that will be.
We want to build three stages of kits: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Artists will have to send us samples of their work to move into the next stage which will be more to their interests
United States Veterans' Artists Alliance (USVAA)
United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance (USVAA) is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary arts organization composed of a diverse group of dynamic, extraordinarily talented military veterans and artists located across the United States.
Founded in 2004, USVAA seeks to open doors for military veterans to work and thrive in America’s creative economy by providing opportunities in the arts, humanities and entertainment industry. With a solid track record of programming excellence in place, USVAA works tirelessly with veterans, artists, supportive individuals and organizations within the arts and veterans’ communities to find funding and support for individual and collaborative projects in photography, literature, theater, film, television, fine arts and a wide variety of crafts.
In addition to our work with veterans and artists, we strive first and foremost to highlight the talents of military veterans and the history of veterans who have made significant contributions to the arts and humanities since the Revolutionary War. To date we have compiled biographical information on the over 550 military veterans who have made noted contributions to the arts and humanities since the founding of the United States.
As spokespersons in the veteran’s community and in our endeavors as artists, we work diligently to highlight issues of concern to veterans and their families. These issues include the transition from military to civilian life, education, employment, the effects of wartime and military service injuries such as PTSD, TBI and Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and homelessness among veterans.
United States Veterans Art Program (USVAP)
The United States Veterans Arts Program is a Chicago-based non-profit that has melded contemporary veterans issues with community-based support, in order to highlight one of the most crucial concerns of our times: improving the health of the military and veteran population that suffers not only from physical disabilities, but also from PTSD and other mental health needs. USVAP believes that art can address many of these issues: for this reason, we provide "Artistic Tools" (musical instruments, paints, photography equipment and other art supplies) to veterans and veterans medical facilities. We also provide employment opportunities and resume/portfolio building to veterans actively involved in music performance and production.
By encouraging and supporting an aesthetic response to the military experience, we hope to emphasize the diversity of the veteran population and to create a new identity of veterans as people who are capable, gifted, and resilient, and also that they often possess the very voice that society needs to hear and to heed.
Vet Art Project
The Vet Art Project provides opportunities for veterans, family, and friends to work with expressive arts therapists and creative media to foster storytelling and attain more personal understanding, awareness, and peace.
Vet Arts Connect (Maryland)
Vet Arts Connect supports the health and well-being of Maryland military veterans by connecting them with vital experiences in nature and the creative arts. Consistent with scientific findings, many veterans report that artistic expression and encounters with nature improve their mood, self-confidence, and ability to manage stress.
Veterans: Learn new stuff, meet other veterans, and have fun hiking, playing music, fishing, writing, creating art, and more.
Veteran Artist Program
VAP takes artists, who are also veterans, and propels their works and careers into the mainstream creative arts community through networking, mentorship, collaboration with professional artists, and original productions. We are based in the Baltimore-Washington area and looking forward to connecting with other like-minded organizations and expanding the network of veteran artists througout the country.
Countless veterans made the brave decision to step away from their art and be part of something larger than themselves and fight for their country. VAP provides the resources, tools, and networking necessary to take the intentional artist to the next level.We want you to be part of our work in all the artistic disciplines. We are about collaboration in all genres of art with an emphasis on bringing together the veteran and Artistic communities. We are about the Artist, both veteran and non-veteran, coming together to tell a story.
Veteran Paper Workshop (Peace Paper Project)
Veteran Paper Workshop provides veterans with hand papermaking as a vehicle for self-expression and healing. Peace Paper Project facilitates Veteran Paper Workshop in collaboration with Art Therapists and Recreation Therapists to ensure that veterans experience the benefits of hand papermaking in supportive environments.
Veterans Art and Farm Therapy (Suffolk, VA)
Our mission is to provide free support for mentally ill veterans and their families using Stargazer Stables' farm facilities for therapeutic treatment and reconnecting family units. The farm acts as a catalyst allowing veteran families to work through interpersonal relationships in a less stressful environment using nature as a tool for positive change.
Art Therapy - We inspire hope and contribute the the health and well being of American veterans by providing a positive outlet through multi media artistic endeavors. Family art activities are available.
Veterans Art Project
The Veterans Art Project is a veteran service organization that offers free bronze and ceramics classes to veterans, their families, and veteran's advocates.
Veterans Art Project (Saddleback College - Mission Viejo, CA)
An Innovative Ceramics Program Giving Veterans An Outlet For Creativity ~ The program offers artistic exploration and community involvement for military veterans, active duty personnel, and their spouses. Privately funded, the Veterans Art Project is being implemented through the support of Saddleback College. This class is tuition-free thanks to a generous grant intended to support our vets.
Veterans Art Therapy Program (Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance)
A partnership between the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance and the Veterans Administration of Southern Arizona.
We believe that the arts can have an impact—physically, emotionally, economically, educationally - on the lives of service members, veterans, families, healthcare providers and the community.
Veterans Outreach Center (Rochester, NY)
The Center offers Creative Arts Therapy, an established mental health profession that combines traditional psychotherapeutic theories and techniques with an understanding of the creative process. Art therapy utilizes all forms of visual art expression including painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, and photography. At VOC art therapy is provided by therapists who are nationally registered (ATR), board certified (BC), and licensed in NYS (LCAT) to practice Creative Arts Therapy and psychotherapy. The program is one of our core supportive services and facilitates referrals for other creative arts modalities including music and dance therapy.
By the very nature of the work, art therapists empower veterans to express their experiences by offering choice to a wide variety of materials, giving control over the therapy process and pace, and creating opportunities to mold, shape, paint, cut, sew, glue, draw, and in the process transform cognitions, emotions, and recollections of combat experiences. Self-esteem increases as veterans are supportive witnesses to each other’s struggles and growth.
Veterans Writing Collective (Methodist University - Fayetteville, NC)
The mission of the Veterans Writing Collective is to encourage the art of writing and to provide a workshop environment in which participants offer honest, positive feedback on members' writing. The group is open to writers of all genres—including poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, drama, and journaling—and is open to all active-duty military, veterans, and family members.
Veterans Writing Workshop (New York, NY)
The Veterans Writing Workshop provides free writing workshops for U.S. veterans in the New York Metropolitan area, publishes veterans writing, and promotes dialogue between veterans and civilians.
Visionary Veterans Art Therapy Program (Fort Worth, TX)
A 16-week art therapy program offering counseling in a therapeutic group setting for veterans returning from service who may have mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and trauma and/or relationship issues/conflicts as well as stress of finding employment and transitioning home.
Visions for Vets (St. Louis, MO)
Visions for Vets offers free Visual Arts workshops to military veterans to help assist in the healing process, provide community and serve through art.
Warriors Journey Home Writing Circle
The Warriors’ Journey Home Writing Circle is a veterans’ writing group in which we listen, speak and heal.
Warrior Writers is a Philadelphia based, national non-profit. Our mission is to create a culture that articulates veterans’ experiences, provide a creative community for artistic expression, and bear witness to the lived experiences of warriors.
Woodworking for Veterans (Norfolk Woodcraft)
Woodcraft franchise owners, Bill and Heather Caillet have a new Woodworking for Veterans program in place at our Woodcraft store in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area. Their mission is dedicated to helping the physical and emotional rehabilitation of wounded and injured active military service personnel and veterans through woodworking activities. The program is designed to provide basic woodworking skills and enhance the quality of life for these service members and Veterans. Woodworking For Veterans will focus on the abilities of each participant while they grow in their woodworking skills.
Woodworking for Veterans is free to all wounded and injured active military personnel and Veterans.
Wounded in Action Art - An art exhibition of orthopaedic advancements
All of the artists in Wounded in Action: An Art Exhibition of Orthopaedic Advancements have explored, both literally and figuratively, their feelings toward the loss of limbs and other musculoskeletal wounds - the majority of which are the result of war. The artists include military personnel who live with orthopaedic injuries and family members who helped them through their recovery process. Orthopaedic surgeons who treat wounded military and civilians and whose lives have been affected by war and their own experience with such injuries are also artists in this exhibition.
None of their relationships to war injuries are simple. Thus, while the artwork can be hopeful, it often disturbs. There is patriotism, but there also is disillusionment. Collectively, it is an acknowledgement that there is real suffering among those with severe war injuries. The exhibition also highlights the need for continued research to improve the ability of wounded warriors to reach their full potential and, hopefully, return to service.
Writers Guild Foundation - The Veterans Writing Group
It’s the only program of its kind. We pair military vets who have a penchant for wordsmithing with a collection of WGA-enrolled film and television writers. Those writers mentor the vets in two phases: A weekend-long retreat, and a series of regular meetings throughout the following year.
Our vets arrive ready to work hard and get things done. And our mentors represent some of the most beloved movies and television series of the past 30 years.
All military veterans and active duty service members are welcome; typically, we host representatives of all ages from every branch of the armed forces. Other than veteran status, the primary criterion we look for is a sincere passion for writing, although some preference is given to those who have had less access to writing guidance. NOTE: Vets who have attended the workshop in the past are ineligible to attend a second time.
Vets from outside the Los Angeles area may attend, but must provide their own transportation and lodging costs.
Veterans are mentored by professional writers with a variety of backgrounds. Most are television writers or screenwriters, but we also invite journalists, novelists and teachers.