The Clarksville/Montgomery County Arts and Heritage Development Council has received a $10,000 grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission to enfold active military, veterans and their families into Clarksville’s creative community.
The Tennessee Arts Commission in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Veteran Services awarded nine Tennessee Military, Veterans & the Arts grants to organizations throughout the state. Two Montgomery County organizations, AHDC and Gateway Chamber Orchestra, were grant recipients.
AHDC is acting as the umbrella agency for After Deployment, Arts for Hearts, Clarksville Community Concerts Association, Cumberland Winds, Shipley Pottery, and Austin Peay State University’s Community School of the Arts as they offer arts experiences to Clarksville’s military community.
These six agencies are providing music, ceramics, visual arts, crafts, and creative writing workshops throughout the community.
Cumberland Winds is leading sing-along sessions at the Veterans Home and, along with Sounds of Acoustic Recovery, offering weekly classes that include group musical instruction by a developmental therapist/musician.
Clarksville Community Concerts Association has engaged a music therapist to conduct sessions before and after their March 23 jazz concert to allow veterans to have fun with music and to participate more fully in the concert experience.
Through ceramics glazing and painting sessions, Shipley Pottery will allow participants to express their ideas creatively and to process emotions in a group format. Their first workshop will be March 28 at the Steven A Cohen Military Family Clinic. Their work will be displayed in a public exhibit at the end of the sessions.
The Arts for Hearts art cart is bringing free art workshops to veterans and families at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic, Fort Campbell’s Fisher House, Yellow Ribbon Fund, J & S Artworks, Horsefeathers Pottery Studio, DBO Studio and with the Blue Star Families.
Arts for Hearts volunteers and artists are sharing their love of art to help strengthen community connections with our active and veteran military families. Since late November, Arts for Hearts volunteers and artists have held seven classes with more than 100 participants.
Response to these workshops has been so positive that Arts for Hearts is seeking additional funding to continue them after the Tennessee Arts Commission grant is completed.
Community School of the Arts is offering creative writing classes to foster self-expression and healing through writing. The course taught by author and publisher Shana Thornton filled with a waiting list and has been so popular that those enrolled have asked for an extension, which the APSU Center for the Creative Arts has agreed to.
After Deployment veterans and their families have used art as therapy for dealing with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression by creating painted and decorated masks to express how they feel.
Veterans account for 12.5 percent of Montgomery County’s population. Given the county’s average 2.78 people per household, we estimate more than a third of Montgomery Countians are veterans or family members.
For more information on these programs, contact Dr. Ellen Kanervo, executive director, Clarksville/Montgomery County Arts and Heritage Development Council, 931-551-8870 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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