Blog Posts for National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military

The Arts and Veterans: A Mighty Force

Posted by Robert Lynch, Jun 30, 2017 0 comments

The Fourth of July is a time to honor and reflect on the determination and sacrifices of our service members in making our freedom possible. Over the years, stories have emerged of how veterans across the country come back—and what they give back—after overcoming sometimes decades of struggles with combat and service-related illness and injuries. Many of these veterans say that the arts saved their lives—but in finding their creative voice, they are also enriching our lives too.

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Helping Veterans Build Connections Between Creative Arts Therapy Programs and Their Local Arts Communities Through Telehealth

Posted by Heather Spooner, MA, ATR-BC, Jennifer Baxley Lee, MA, BC-DMT, May 05, 2017 0 comments

The past five years have been a renaissance for those of us who incorporate the arts into our work with Veterans. However, as professionals who deeply engage in this work each day, we are aware that gaps remain in the continuum of care provided to Veterans. One such gap is in the transition from clinic to home-based care. Many service members and Veterans receive intensive therapy, including creative arts therapy, following an injury or illness and then return to their own corners of the world, which are disproportionately rural and isolated. 

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The Mission of Theater: The Contract of Showtime

Posted by Jeffrey Pufahl, MFA, LMUS, May 04, 2017 0 comments

There are basic contracts theater makers enter with each other when they start a project. These unwritten rules govern the creation of a piece of theater. We understand that what is shared at a performance is only between those who are there, and although the performance disappears forever once the lights are dimmed, what was shared remains and is carried by the audience. For the veterans who tell their stories through theater, their burdens can become a little lighter, a little more bearable—and that can make the pain of telling worthwhile.

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Five Views of the Healing Power of the Arts

Posted by Susan Saloom, May 01, 2017 0 comments

This week, Americans for the Arts is sharing the diverse arts and health experiences of five Assistant Scholars and Lecturers at the UF Center for Arts in Medicine in Gainesville. You will read of the joint experience of both patient and artist, the benefits of storytelling among children engaged in a journey of treatment, and the challenge of shaping healthy lifestyles among teenagers with theater, as well as two stories of the arts and healing for Veterans.

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The Therapeutic Healing of Art Among Veterans

Posted by Phyllis T. Miller, Nov 28, 2016 0 comments

Studies have proven that a designed interior with emphasis on color and art provides a therapeutic experience without stress to the client/patient, and is an ideal setting to gain the best outcome from a visit to the medical office or clinic. Unfortunately, there are those who see art as a luxury or an unnecessary expense, rather than as a therapeutic healing supplement to enhance the greater purpose and to improve both internal and external health. This is one of the reasons I created The Veterans Art Venue, with a mission to exhibit, to provide, and to empower through art, beyond words. Our art evokes a thought, a reflection and a therapeutic embrace.

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Giving Voice Through Art

Posted by Kristin La Flamme, Nov 11, 2016 0 comments

I am an artist and a military spouse. I create artwork that expresses the fragile strength of life as an Army wife.  I have found that if I can express my challenges and frustrations through my art, the message is less finite or specific. The artwork is not just about me. And it’s not only cathartic to me, but it leaves room for the viewer to bring his or her own experience and voice to the visual conversation as well—in ways that words and writing can not. 

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