The Roycroft Campus Corporation (RCC) has teamed with the Arts in Education Institute of WNY (AEI) and the Buffalo Vet Center to create a Veteran’s Art Therapy program, in which members will have an opportunity to creatively express their wartime experiences through both performance and fine art.
This program, in partnership with First Niagara Financial Group, is designed to help veterans deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression related to their service, while improving their ability to function within the family unit.
Beginning on January 14, 2010, classes will be held at the AEI office at 121 Humboldt Parkway, adjacent to the Medaille College Campus, including weekly sessions with certified teaching artists and counselors. Theater, music, spoken word, painting, video and drawing are the mediums that will be used to help veterans explore their emotions and experiences as individuals and through active, team-based participation. Work will be presented in a gallery exhibit and public performance event at the end of the six-week session. Three, six-week sessions are planned during 2010. (Registration form here.)
The RCC will support both the gallery and performance events at the culmination of each of the six-week sessions, and the Buffalo Vet Center will measure and report participant progress through follow-up sessions with both veteran and family over the course of a three year period.
AEI has a documented success with Teaching Artists utilizing art therapy to engage and provide participants the opportunity to express their experiences, emotions, and life through art to diverse populations including AIDS Community Services and local mental health and disabled organizations.
According to the American Art Therapy Associations website “the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self awareness, and achieve insight.” These factors are key components to the well being of service members who have given so much in defense of our country and key components to addressing At-Risk-Families of veterans.