August 2016 E-News

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August 2016 E-News

Featured from the National Initiative Directory

The Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP) empowers veterans, service members, and military family members to re-enter and thrive in their communities through arts classes and performances. ASAP focuses on promoting artistic expression, skill-development, and camaraderie through six- to twelve-week classes in stand-up comedy, improv, creative writing, and music. ASAP then partners with local colleges, arts organizations, and performance venues to continue the artistic and personal growth. ASAP provides participants with transferable life skills, a renewed sense of purpose, healing benefits, and stronger ties with communities through the arts. Read more...

Dare County Arts Council holds a series of artistic programs for veterans in collaboration with three civic partners—the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council, the Outer Banks Visitor's Bureau, and the Outer Banks Community Foundation. For the first programs, Ron Capps of the Veterans Writing Project in Washington, DC led a two-day writing workshop for local and visiting veterans. In the future, programs will include visual and performing arts opportunities. The Outer Banks of North Carolina have a strong support system for veterans programs, and as a resort destination, it has been able to serve visiting veterans and their families. If you are interested in collaborating or partnering on projects or programs, please contact Dare County Arts Council Executive Director Chris Sawin at [email protected].

Read more about events and programs from ASAP and Dare County Arts Council below! 

From the Hill:  Federal Advocacy News

Military Bands Already Seeing Cuts Due to Threat of Congressional Action 
On June 16, the U.S. House passed a new provision that would prohibit military bands from performing in an official capacity for certain entertainment purposes, including dinners, dances, and social events. The intent of the amendment offered by Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) was for cost-reduction. Although nearly 4,000 arts advocates took action and asked their representatives to oppose her amendment, it passed without a vote and is now included in the House version of the FY 2017 Defense Appropriations. No similar provision is in the Senate version, and no final bill has been signed into law.

Despite this, military bands are already being cut and dismantled—including long-established bands with strong community followings. For instance, on August 9, the U.S. Navy's Electric Brigadeannounced to the crowd of 300 people that their performance that night would be their last. To learn more about the impact these misguided congressional actions are having on military relations, communities, and musicians, read more:

  • Military TimesDon't discount military bands' strategic value, supporters warn Congress;
  • Air Force TimesAir Force rock band's contributions shouldn't be underestimated, airmen say.

Join the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military's closed Facebook group to continue to receive updates on the latest developments and ways to take action. 

From the Field: Spotlight on Kentucky

Fund for the Arts in Louisville, KY Raises Money for Access to Arts for Military Families 
Fund for the Arts President and CEO Christen Boone parachuted 3,500 feet with the United States Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights as part of a fundraiser for access to the arts in Louisville. Boone was joined by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, Karen Lawrence of the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation, and a group of local arts leaders this past June. "We are grateful to all those in the armed forces who continually demonstrate the true meaning of service," said Boone. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only partner with the Golden Knights, but also to increase access to transformative arts experiences for our military families." Read more...

Veterans and Kentucky Shakespeare  
Veterans and Kentucky Shakespeare is an initiative launched this spring through Fund for the Arts, hosted by Kentucky Shakespeare of Louisville, in collaboration with local donors and partners. Free for participants, the program gives veterans the opportunity to learn Shakespearean ensemble techniques while encouraging new forms of self-expression that build tangible coping mechanisms. The group debuted on the Kentucky Shakespeare stage at Louisville's Central Park in July.  Read more... 


Upcoming Events

The 2016 Outer Banks Veterans Writing Project in Roanoke Island, NC 
November 5–6  
The free, two-day writing workshop will be led by retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant and professional writer James Matthews, whose fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals. Dare County Arts Council encourages all former and current service men and women in North Carolina, Virginia, and surrounding areas to submit applications for the writing workshop, which will accommodate up to 25 participants. For more information or to submit an online application for the Veterans Writing Project, visit, or call252.473.5558

Armed Services Arts Partnership's Improv Class in Washington, DC 
September 10–October 15 
ASAP is offering a seven-week improv class, free of charge, exclusive for veterans, service members, and military family members this fall in Washington, DC. Led by professional improviser and US Air Force Veteran Shawn Westfall, the course provides a collaborative, supportive environment for participants to learn the basics of short form improv. To apply for the class, please visit and complete the application. Read the Program Flyer here...


What We're Watching

Adam Driver Brings Monologues to the Military: Arts in the Armed Forces 
"We're hoping to show that language is a powerful tool, that self-expression is a powerful tool—it's just as valuable as any rifle you carry or any tool you can put in your pack," says Marine-turned-actor Adam Driver (Girls, Star Wars:The Force Awakens). In this 2015 video, Driver, who is the founder of Arts in the Armed Forces, introduces a U.S. military audience to the theatrical performance they are about to see. Read more...

Jim Stevens – Healing With Art 
Jim Stevens, lifetime member of Denver, Colorado's VFW Post 1, was just awarded First Place for Fine Art, Mixed Media in the 2016 Denver Veterans Creative Arts Festival. Legally blind from an injury suffered in Vietnam, Jim Stevens relies on an adjustable monocular lens from the US Department of Veterans Affairs to make his art. The portrait of Jim's granddaughter, "Embers", was created on more than 450 yards of monofilament line. This video is the amazing story of how art saved Jim Stevens' life.  Read more...and see more... 

What We're Reading

Youngblood: A Novel by Matt Gallagher is his first novel following the 2010 memoir, Kaboom. Matt Gallagher is among the new generation of war writers that have been compared to Graham Greene and Ernest Hemingway. Youngblood follows Jack Porter, a young lieutenant trying to live up to his heroic older brother's legacy while leading his own platoon under combat conditions, insurgency, and the unsettling day-to-day operations in the field.  "Books of The Times" reviewer Michiko Kakutani called " urgent and deeply moving novel." 


BLOG POST: "Start Your Own Workshop" by Drew Cameron 
Drew Cameron, veteran and founder of the nationally known Combat Paper Project, gives insight into the creation and importance of arts related workshops for veterans in communities. Cameron's blog, "Start Your Own Workshop," is available in the Arts & Military section of Americans for the Arts ARTSblog. The Combat Paper project is a member of the National Initiative Directory. 

WEBINAR: "Arts Deployed: A Practical Guide to Support Arts, Health, and Well-Being Across the Military Continuum" 
Americans for the Arts has developed a three-part webinar series available free and on demand for anyone interested in arts & health in the military.

Part One:  An Introduction 
Part Two:  
Current Programs, New Possibilities, and Ways to Help 
Part Three:  
Building a Grassroots Community MilVet Creative Arts Initiative 


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