This project, in partnership with the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Hospital in Richmond, promotes healing and hope among Veterans with PTSD and combat related disabilities by drawing participants into a creative community of art-making. It is well established that art-making contributes to wellbeing and healing. The NEA Military Healing Arts Network (https://www.arts.gov/national- initiatives/creative-forces) promotes placing creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care in all military medical facilities.
Beginning in 2018, in partnership with the McGuire Veterans Hospital, Art for the Journey began a Veterans Arts Program that brings a range of art-making experiences to veterans with PTSD and combat- related disabilities, both at the hospital and at our Frable Studio in Midlothian. We hold several exhibitions per year of art from this program at the VA Hospital and other community locations. Veteran- artists, their families, and the public attend these events. CBS 6 coverage of our first exhibit is available here: http://via.wtvr.com/QXVhb.
Veterans & Military
Primary Population Served
Military Veterans with PTSD and Disabilities
"Providing veterans access to the arts is one of the most effective ways we can help them transition to civilian life and maintain a healthy lifestyle. As a recreation therapist, it’s my job to assist my patients in finding positive leisure outlets. I always encourage the arts. Art makes us healthier, happier, more relaxed and more socially engaged. For the veteran population in particular, participating in art sessions can allow them to communicate their experiences and express their emotions that might otherwise remain suppressed. It is also an opportunity to focus their mental energy on something positive and with purpose. Experiencing this mental break promotes a relaxation response, decreased anxiety and increased mood." "Art for the Journey is a program that definitely has a place and purpose at McGuire VAMC. I’ve seen the positive impact on participants from just the few programs that we have been able to provide. If we could provide opportunities to engage in art programs on a more consistent basis, the effect would be tremendously increased. The more this program is able to grow, so can the number of veteran that could benefit from what it has to offer. I fully support this program." Freda Sergi Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist