Music and Art Therapy

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Project Structure

Art_W_flagMusic and Art Therapy. Through music and art therapy veterans use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem with the goal of improving or restoring their functioning or sense of personal well-being. Art therapy is widely practiced in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities, wellness centers, schools, crisis centers, private practice, and other clinical and community settings.e creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem with the goal of improving or restoring their functioning or sense of personal well-being. 

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Art therapy is widely practiced in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities, wellness centers, schools, crisis centers, private practice, and other clinical and community settings. It is particularly beneficial to those recovering from the “invisible wounds of war” such as Vision Loss, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), physical disabilities, and their related effects. Working with participants in Operation Peer Support and other programs, Veterans are paired with art therapists and mentors from the visual and performing arts to develop their talents and express themselves through art. For many this leads to successful careers in art while reducing dependence on medication, clinical symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other conditions. They also participate in “one of a kind” events one-on-one with top performers and artists. 

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Program Partners

Our main partner for the visual arts portion of the project is The Graffiti of War Project. The Graffiti of War offers a unique, individual perspective, through the eyes and emotions of service members and veterans.  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. The Graffiti of War’s 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.

Successes

Our Veterans in the Arts project held its first major event on October 5, 2015 at The National Theater in Richmond, Virginia with an exhibit of art art created by veterans using art therapy.

Guests had the opportunity to experience conflict art created by veterans. This moving experience offers profound insight into and an appreciation of our military and their experiences defending our country under the most arduous conditions. The featured artist for this event was Brian Rock  with a selection of his paintings displayed and available for sale with all proceeds donated to Helping the Heroes charitable efforts. More information on Brian’s inspirational story dealing with his own war experience and helping others is available HERE.

 

Building on Success for the Future

The program is expanding to use the personal histories from Operation Peer Support with the visual and performing arts talent of in art exhibitions, music compositions, videos, and ultimately to write, produce, and perform an opera depicting the challenges and triumphs of our veterans and their families.

To help us continue this work and expand to help more of our heroes, please contribute HERE.