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Arts and Wellness for Veterans

The Asheville Area Arts Council (AAAC) is excited to announce the launch of an Arts & Wellness program for Veterans who carry either wounds of war or life in September 2017. Through innovative collaborations with organizations and specially trained artists, we will bring the creative arts to this unique population in support of their recovery and healing through programming that provides avenues of expression beyond those traditionally offered.

Arts & Wellness will offer hands-on workshops in ceramics, creative writing, mask making, painting, poetry, dance, and textiles to veterans free of charge. Programs will take place at the Charles George VA Medical CenterOdyssey Clay WorksABCCM’s Veterans Restoration Quarters, and ABCCM’s Steadfast House. The AAAC’s goal is to help this population tackle their own stories and seek to heal through art. 

To learn more, please join us on Thursday, August 31 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm for a community information session at The Refinery Creator Space | 207 Coxe Avenue. 

PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS

Expressive Arts and Military Sexual Trauma

Tuesdays, September 19 – November 14

11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Mental Health Outpatient Group Room at Charles George VA Medical Center

FREE

Co-Leaders: Dr. Kari Taylor-Evans, Licensed Psychologist, and Connie Schrader, Expressive Arts facilitator

To register: Admission by recommendation of Dr. Taylor-Evans, 800.932.6408 ext. 1523

As a therapeutic intervention, Expressive Arts techniques work by adding an arts-based experience in lieu of a life challenge, then using the art to reflect on ways that the process of making the work—the painting, the dance, the sculpture, the voice—opened up new ways to reflect on the challenge.  The expressive arts orientation is grounded in play and discovery.  Each week’s workshop will include two modes of imaginative inquiry – the five modes of imagination being Word, Image, Sound/Rhythm, Movement, and Action.

Participants can expect to play with clay, paint, drawing, writing, moving, song, and story.  The goal of the workshops is to expand the range of play participants can enjoy as they explore self-expression and the creative process.


Dance for Parkinson’s Program

Thursdays, September 21 – November 9

6:00 – 7:15 pm

CLC 2nd floor at Charles George VA Medical Center

FREE

Instructor:  Connie Schrader, MA Dance, Dance for Parkinson’s Instructor

To register: Please call Dr. Eva Morgenstern in Neurology clinic, 828.298.7911 ext. 5356, or Cheryl Logan 828.298.7911 ext. 1119

Dance for Parkinson’s® classes works because they simultaneously offer an escape and a workshop.  It is an escape from Parkinson’s because it is a way for participants to engage in a fun, social, meaningful activity that encourages learning and the exploration of an art form.  And it is a workshop because everything that is addressed in teaching and training—balance, flexibility, coordination, rhythm, phrasing, imagination in service of movement, graceful locomotion, control, expression—address the symptoms or impairments of Parkinson’s disease.

Classes begin with a seated warm-up which promotes circulation, flexibility, and community.  Following our warm-up, we move to standing sequences, line and circle dances and sequences to support cognitive enhancement while having fun.  Any activity can be adapted for those who need to remain seated.  Friends and family are welcome to participate at any level. No previous dance experience is required.  Open to Veterans and their caretakers.


Arts for Health

Fridays, September 22 – November 10

12:45 – 2:30 pm

FREE

Open to residents of the Substance Abuse and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program at Charles George VA Medical Center

Co-leaders: Mary Ellen Lough-Phillips, Poetry as Medicine facilitator, and Connie Schrader, Expressive Arts facilitator

To register: Programming will occur as part of the regularly scheduled Recreational Therapy time in the SAARP.

The workshops will revolve around the use of various art practices to build awareness, create authenticity, and offer the residents creative tools that can be used for further self-exploration when their treatment program concludes.

To be involved in one’s recovery, to contribute to the healing process, not just passively receive treatments administered by others, creates an enduring sense of self-efficacy.  The core process of healing through art involves the cultivation and release of the creative spirit. The challenge, then, is first to free our creativity and then to sustain it as a disciplined practice.  These workshops will be the first step in guiding the use of arts into a healing practice. Participants will use poetry, movement, painting, and clay. Some sessions will incorporate both instructors, integrating poetry with other art; other sessions will be more in depth in a particular art form. No previous experience in any art is expected or required.


Pottery for Veterans

Fridays, September 22 – December 15 (no session on November 24)

1:00 – 4:00 pm

Odyssey ClayWorks

FREE to Veterans living in Buncombe County

Instructor: Gabriel Kline, Director of Odyssey ClayWorks, and Micah Thanhauser, artist

To register: Sign up here  or call 828.258.0710

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at the potter’s wheel? Would you like to sculpt a likeness in clay? Perhaps you have thought of creating a custom-made tile for your kitchen or bath? Then this is the class for you! These are just some of the possibilities we will explore in this 12-week class offered at Odyssey ClayWorks. Designed specifically for veterans, we will be working with some of the area’s best potters and ceramic artists to provide a fun introduction to working in the clay studio. Bring your ideas, and we will make them happen! We will also spend time examining ways that your experience in the military and as a veteran can inform your work, serve as inspiration, and raise awareness about important issues.

Working in conjunction with the Asheville Area Arts Council, Odyssey ClayWorks is proud to offer this class free of charge to veterans. Limited enrollment.


Poetry and Transformation Course

Tuesdays, September 26 – December 5 (no session on November 21)

7:00 – 8:30 pm

ABCCM’s Steadfast House

FREE

Open to Veteran residents of the Steadfast House

Instructor: Mary Ellen Lough-Phillips, Poetry as Medicine facilitator

To register: Residents may sign up through their case manager

“Poetry gives you permission to feel.” ~ James Autry

No-one sees and experiences the world the same way you do. Poetry allows you your own voice. It allows you to connect the dots between what you think, feel, experience, question, wonder, love, and hate. A poem is a space in which everything belongs. It transforms because it can create beauty from pain. It can help shoulder the weight of what you carry, and allow you to share your story with others so you do not have to carry it alone. This course will be a safe place to explore what you most want to say through poem-making. We will cover the basics of poetry as well as learn mindfulness techniques which help us to relate to our lives and our surroundings, while also making us better writers.


Poetry and Transformation Course

Wednesdays, September 27 – December 6 (no session on November 22)

7:00 – 8:30 pm

ABCCM’s Veterans Restoration Quarters

FREE

Open to residents of the Veterans Restoration Quarters

Instructor: Mary Ellen Lough-Phillips, Poetry as Medicine facilitator

To register: Residents may sign up through their case manager

“Poetry gives you permission to feel.” ~ James Autry

No-one sees and experiences the world the same way you do. Poetry allows you your own voice. It allows you to connect the dots between what you think, feel, experience, question, wonder, love, and hate. A poem is a space in which everything belongs. It transforms because it can create beauty from pain. It can help shoulder the weight of what you carry, and allow you to share your story with others so you do not have to carry it alone. This course will be a safe place to explore what you most want to say through poem-making. We will cover the basics of poetry as well as learn mindfulness techniques which help us to relate to our lives and our surroundings, while also making us better writers.


Creative Writing Program for Veterans with PTSD

Tuesdays, October 10 – November 28

4:30 – 6:30 pm

Classroom B at Charles George VA Medical Center

FREE

Instructors: Elizabeth Heaney, an experienced therapist with the military and author, and Dr. Bruce Kelly, a primary care physician at the VA

To register: Please call Dr. Bruce Kelly in Primary Care 3, 828.298.7911 ext. 4442

Since the Second World War, veterans have used writing to address the wounds of war. Putting the thoughts and feelings still banging around inside onto paper helps veterans express and organize troublesome memories, and allows them to gradually leave those behind. As Ron Capps of the Veterans Writing Project says, “either you control the memory or the memory controls you”. There’s been remarkable success with three Vietnam veterans’ writing groups held at CGVAMC – every veteran reported significant improvement in symptoms and quality of life. “Prompts” (short pieces, poems or stories) open topics for remembrance and discussion, and creative writing follows. Through the writing, veterans are encouraged and supported as they find their way to deeper honesty and a new kind of courage.

 

The Arts & Wellness program for Veterans has received support from the Ramble Charitable Fund of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and the James G. Hanes Memorial Fund.

 

 

 

Grant Opportunities

Asheville Art in the Park Grant

The Asheville Art in the Park Arts & Community Grant is offered to qualifying committed artists in Western North Carolina in order to enhance public spaces and highlight the role of local artists within the community.

Enhancing Public Spaces

Highlighting Local Artists

Displaying Excellence In Design


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Grassroots Arts Program Grant

Since 1977, the North Carolina Arts Council’s Grassroots Arts Program has provided North Carolina citizens access to quality arts experiences. Using a per capita based formula, the program provides funding for the arts in all 100 counties of the state through partnerships with local arts councils.

For Local Arts Organizations

For Community Impact

Increasing Arts Programming


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Professional Development Grant

Professional Development Grants for Artists offer support to individual artists to attend area organization’s programming that expands their knowledge of sound business practices. Applicants must apply for an opportunity that specifically benefits the business management of the artist.

For Individual Buncombe Artists

For Professional Development

Buncombe County Courses


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Regional Artist Project Grant

The Regional Artist Project Grant Program is awarded annually to provide financial support for committed, accomplished artists by funding a project pivotal to a career in their respective art forms. The Regional Artist Project Grants range from $400 – $1,200.

For Individual Regional Artists

Furthers an Artist's Career

Equipment or an Experience


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Kids Tixx

The Kids Tixx program provides access to wonderful arts & culture experiences not always in the budget for some of Buncombe County’s families, while also supporting our local arts presenters! Kids Tixx provides free admission for one child and one adult to local arts and cultural events, exhibits, and more. To be able to share this opportunity with as many children as possible the AAAC will give one opportunity per child per quarter.

The Asheville Area Arts Council believes that creative experiences are vitally important to the quality of life, and inspire and bring joy to young hearts. Cultural experiences also bring families closer together and provide moments that become meaningful memories. For some, the Kids Tixx program may be one of the few art related experiences that a child will have all year. We appreciate our donors, who are willing to reach out and nurture joy in our community in this way, while also supporting our worthy arts presenters.

Upcoming Arts and Cultural Events:

Black Mountain Songs – presented by Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center and UNC Asheville 

Saturday Sep 30, 2017 @ 8:00 PM

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center and UNC Asheville present the Southeast premiere of Black Mountain Songs, an expansive choral and visual work performed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and curated by Bryce Dessner (The National) and Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire). Eight composers in total, including Dessner and Parry along with Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Aleksandra Vrebalov, John King, Tim Hecker, and Jherek Bischoff, collaborated with filmmaker Matt Wolf to create the renowned piece celebrating the legacy of Black Mountain College.