Following the success of our 2017 Veterans Art Day event – and noting the growing attendance and interest among this population – the Art Center saw an opening for increased programming possibilities specifically with this audience in mind. In 2018, surveys were distributed, responses were collected, and voices were heard. The message was clear: Veterans were seeking out more meaningful ways to engage with their community through the arts, and one day a year was simply not enough. And thus, in 2019, ArtTroop as a program was born!
ArtTroop is a free, bi-monthly program meant to empower veterans and active military service members by telling their stories through art making. By creating a positive and stress-free atmosphere meant to help students build artistic confidence and problem-solving skills, strengthen identity through therapeutic arts activities, and develop community with their peers, ArtTroop truly is a unique experience.
Throughout the year, students are introduced to a variety of art media and techniques and explore themes of art, life, and healing. Running from February to November, each class is a 3-hour block of exploration and reflection. The program culminates with a professional exhibition that is on display during the annual Veterans Art Day in November.
As we approach our third year of ArtTroop, we remain committed to ensuring the program is a safe, inclusive space. At this time, our program is limited to 15 participants annually, making this a competitive program in which all participants must apply. This year is a little different, however. Because the Covid pandemic disrupted programming beyond our control, our students from 2020 have been permitted to repeat their year in 2021. For this reason, there are only 5-6 spots available for the 2021 ArtTroop class.
If you would like more information about ArtTroop, contact Nikki Sullivan, Outreach Programs Manager, at [email protected] or 317.255.2464 x 2220.
ArtTroop, presented by Jim and Pat LaCrosse.
Support for veterans programming is provided in honor and memory of Vincent Maxwell.