The Veteran Arts Showcase, now in its fifth year, is a celebration of veterans and the arts and how arts heal, communicate emotions, and compel people to interact with each other. The Showcase was founded on the understanding that the arts are vital to veteran reintegration – for self-expression, recovery from the aftereffects of war and to reconnect with the civilian-veteran community. The Showcase features visual artists, crafters, writers, poets, musicians and performers who are military connected: active duty military, veterans, and/or their family members
Evidence-based research indicates a broad range of benefits of creative, artistic, and expressive therapies such as writing, art and music, in addressing trauma and stress. The simple act of drumming or taking a photograph has been shown to be beneficial. A growing body of evidence is indicating that sensory-enrichment activities such as Scuba diving and fly fishing have therapeutic benefits. Expressive therapies can help people communicate in ways that traditional talk therapies cannot.
This approach is not new. Historical and anthropological evidence suggests that utilization of the creative process has been used since ancient times as preventive and restorative treatment. The ancient Egyptians encouraged artistic activity as a means of self-expression. The Greeks and Romans used drama and music for their restorative properties. During the Renaissance it was believed that the imagination played a role in health and well-being. During this period many began to believe that dance and play were central to children’s growth and development. Native Americans have been aware of the benefits of expressive therapy for thousands of years.
Although creative, artistic, and expressive therapies are not new concepts, showcasing the benefits of these techniques in dealing with veteran issues in an exhibit is relatively new. The Veteran Arts Showcase is more than an art show, as it highlights the ways in which we update these venerable traditions to support and enhance veteran’s lives.
A very special thanks to the Outpatient Art Therapy Programs at the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System’s, Montrose Campus. These programs have a long-standing reputation for providing a safe space for veterans to engage in the creative process of art making as a means for relaxation and/or to help them to understand and heal from difficult military experiences where words are hard to find.
The event is the result of a collaboration between The Orange County NY Arts Council, The FDR Presidential Library and Museum, and The Veteran Family Support Alliance (aka VETFAMSA), who together serve veterans and the larger Hudson Valley community, especially Dutchess, Ulster, Putnam, Ulster and Orange Counties.
Free & Open to the Public