By Jenny Hershour, Citizens for the Arts in PA
Below is a summary of some of the programs that are available to both Active Duty Military, Veterans, and their families.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s (PSO)*
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s (PSO)* Music & Wellness Program works with music therapists and other healthcare professionals to bring therapeutic, live music to individuals at multiple Pittsburgh area facilities, including the H.J. Heinz Campus of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.
PSO musicians lead music and wellness sessions for small groups and help participants meet their physical, emotional, and social needs. At the VA, musicians have provided music that sparks memories and conversations during cognitive therapy group session. They have also energized participants and encouraged social interaction through large group programs.
To learn more about the program in general or watch videos demonstrating the impact, visit the Music and Wellness Program website at http://www.wellness.pittsburghsymphony.org.
Operation Valor Arts (OVArts)
Operation Valor Arts (OVArts)* is a Pittsburgh organization that helps Veterans secure the necessary resources to design and construct public art as a means to:
- Process and interpret their experience of war
- Engage collaboratively with fellow service members to accomplish a new mission
- Connect with opportunities in art, design, and technology fields
- Create a lasting tribute to the service members and their families
The focus is on service men and women returning from Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
More information may be found at www.ovarts.org.
Warrior Writers of Culture Trust
Warrior Writers of Culture Trust is a veteran-focused arts organization that fosters artistic exploration and expression through casual, welcoming workshops and retreats that are located in Philadelphia. It is a community of military veterans, service members, artists, allies, and healers dedicated to creativity and wellness. They use writing, painting, photography, and a host of other mediums to reflect on their experiences and express them creatively.
Visit their website at http://www.warriorwriters.org for more information.
Witness to War
Witness to War Examining combat-themed art of the twen-tieth and twenty-first centuries, Witness to War provides a poignant introspective of the lived experience of war and its aftermath. Through photographs, sculptures, and paintings, including works of retired Marine and former combat artist Michael D. Fay and other notable historical and working war artists, the exhibition looks at war through a scattering of moments, altogether raw and starkly intimate. This exhibit runs through Dec. 16, 2018 at the Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery of Lebanon Valley College in Annville.
Fay, a Lebanon Valley College adjunct professor of art & visual culture, co-curated Witness to War with Dr. Barbara McNulty, director of the Gallery, in developing the exhibit. They received additional assistance from Dr. Tara Leigh Tappert, an independent scholar and activist focusing on arts and the military.
Tours of the exhibit can be arranged through Dr. McNulty at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the exhibit, visit https://www.lvc.edu/offices-directories/the-suzanne-h-arnold-art-gallery/.
*National Initiative For Arts & Health in the Military, Pennsylvania Network Directory, Americans for the Arts