We help veterans get compensation for their service-related mental health issues, including PTSD and TBI. But we know that getting service connected or receiving TDIU benefits does not solve everything for our clients. Finding ways to process their military experiences is a separate challenge.
Recently, we read about an organization that helps veterans process their military experiences by teaching them the art of storytelling. That got us wondering what other organizations across the country use the arts to support veterans. A longer list of worthwhile organizations can be found here, but below are a few that caught our attention:
ASAP (Armed Services Arts Partnership) is the organization that got us first thinking about this topic. ASAP offers veterans workshops in stand-up comedy, improv, storytelling, and creative writing. The organization serves veterans in Washington, D.C. and Hampton Roads, Virginia.
Operation Revamp is a home-grown Colorado organization based in Grand Junction. Their mission is to use the arts to help veterans and their families suffering from mental injuries. Operation Revamp offers a variety of opportunities, including open mic nights, Tai Chi, painting, crocheting, yoga, lawn furniture renovation, and more. You can even purchase art from their online gallery.
Task Force ISO is another Colorado organization. Based in Castle Rock, the organization uses photography to help veterans process their military service and thrive after reintegration. Veterans who complete the organization’s photography courses may have the opportunity to join its network of photographers who can be hired for professional photography services.
Since 2009, American Healing Arts Foundation has offered classes in drawing, creative writing, painting, and sculpting, among others. Like many organizations, AHAF offers its classes and supplies to veterans for free. AHAF serves veterans in the Scottsdale, Arizona area.
CreatiVets offers two different programs. In one program, CreatiVets pairs veterans with songwriters in Nashville. Together, they write a song that expresses the veteran’s story. You can even hear studio recordings of some of those songs on the organization’s website. In the other program, veterans attend three-week programs in Chicago or Richmond, Virginia, where veterans learn about ceramics, painting, and photography.