Why is ArtTroop important to me?
As the daughter of a Vietnam veteran, I have a special place in my heart for veterans. I have seen the physical and emotional toll military service takes on an individual. I also believe in the transformative and healing powers of art. It has been a gift to be the instructor of ArtTroop, to witness the artistic growth and expression of each student. But the greatest joy has come in hearing from students, and seeing firsthand, how being a part of this class has helped them on a deeper, emotional level. One participant shared how her husband and doctor had both recognized “how much better she was doing since being a part of ArtTroop.” That one statement has made every ounce of effort to facilitate the class worth it! I have seen students open up, push beyond boundaries, challenge themselves, and recognize their own strengths, talents, and abilities. On a very personal level, ArtTroop has also been a place of healing for myself. After a 20 plus year battle of fighting service related heath issues, my father died in February of this year. The students were immediately able to relate to my loss, and his struggles. Upon my return to the classroom I realized, I was also a part of this beautiful community. We were building it together.
-Heather S. Nuber