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VHP Unites with Veteran Artists for PTS Awareness Month

“From Conflict to Creativity: Veteran Artists Showcase” ~ June 28-30, 2022

From Conflict to Creativity: Veteran Artists Showcase event announcement

From Conflict to Creativity: Veteran Artists Showcase event announcement. Images courtesy of Uniting US.

Join the Veterans History Project (VHP) as we recognize Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) Awareness Month with a three-day Veteran Artists Showcase focused on living with, managing and raising awareness of PTS and Military Sexual Trauma. Hosted in collaboration with Uniting US, this series of creative demonstrations and *conversations will cover a wide range of artistic disciplines, including acrylic painting, fiber arts, quilting, collage, water color painting, pottery, woodworking, jewelry making, metal craft, comedy and poetry writing.

“From Conflict to Creativity: Veteran Artists Showcase” will feature two live sessions per day at the Library of Congress Jefferson Building, Room LJ-119, located at 10 First Street, SE, Washington DC. Veteran artist demonstrations and lectures will simultaneously premiere with closed captioning and remain accessible on VHP’s Facebook page, and later on the Library of Congress’ YouTube channel and website. Each session is free and open to the public; however, onsite attendance requires advance registration. View the full schedule, then click the link below each session you plan to attend in-person.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Morning Session: 10am

Silhouette image of the side profile of a veteran's face with their mouth open and yelling

“Bursting Out of Silence” by Bethany Ryan. Image courtesy of Uniting US.

Watch live demonstrations of various forms of painting, writing, pottery and collage by veteran artists Alicia Christy, Bob Cortez, Sue Decker, Christina Helferich-Polosky, Jara Fatout Lang and Ted Berkowitz. At 11:30am, Alicia Christy and Steve Kost will share their experiences and answer questions.

Register to attend this session in-person.

Afternoon Session: 1pm

A wood-carved image of a face with a collection of long, bent nails piercing through its eye and bridge of its nose to depict the pain of a migraine.

“Migraine” by Michael Higgs. Image courtesy of Uniting US.

Watch live demonstrations of writing and various forms of painting by veteran artists Maria Carrion, April Goodwin-Gil, Phyllis Thomas Miller, Ryan Smithson and Miquel Chavez. At 2:30pm, Bob Cortez and Jara Fatout Lang will share their experiences and answer questions.

Register to attend this session in-person.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Morning Session: 10am

A painting of an African-American service woman in uniform

“Faces of the Fallen-Honoring Women Who Have Served: LTC Karen Wagner” by Alicia Christy. Image courtesy of Uniting US.

Watch live demonstrations of fiber art, painting, metal work and photography by veteran artists Gail Belmont, Mary “Tayliegh” Lopez De Morales, Leigh Cortez, Lewis Howard, Steve Kost and Wayne Williams. At 11:30am, Gail Belmont and Lewis Howard will share their experiences and answer questions.

Register to attend this session in-person.

Afternoon Session: 1pm

A collage of images including a male service member wearing a combat helmet and pieces of the U.S. flag

“Everyday Superhero” by Mark Tobin. Image courtesy of Uniting US.

Watch live demonstrations of writing, painting, photography and woodworking by veteran artists Cyrus Quadland, Erin Colson, Kimberly Johnson, Margaret Ann Viboolsittiseri and Michael Higgs. At 2:30pm, Miguel Chavez and Phyllis Thomas Miller will share their experiences and answer questions.

Register to attend this session in-person.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Morning Session: 10am

“A Journey Home: Service” by Mary Lopez De Morales. Image courtesy of Uniting US.

Watch live demonstrations of glass art, photography, painting, pottery, blacksmithing and singing by veteran artists Lisa Firmin, Terri Souder, Clem Danish, Ehren Tool, Edith Disler and Matthew Gill. At 11:30am, Terri Souder and Lisa Firmin will share their experiences and answer questions.

Register to attend this session in-person.

Afternoon Session/Closing Ceremony: 1pm

A pair of hands holding blooming white rose with a U.S. flag in the background.

“Hands of Hope” by Kimberly Johnson. Image courtesy of Uniting US.

Join us in the Library of Congress’ historic Coolidge Auditorium as we ceremoniously culminate this rich series of events and PTS Awareness Month with a special program during which Uniting US will donate more than 100 veterans’ oral history interviews to VHP, where they will be archived and made accessible for future generations. The closing ceremony will also feature a stand-up comedy performance, musical selections and veteran tributes. Louis Celli, host of “Policy Vets” podcast and Uniting US board member, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Register to attend this session in-person.

The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves and makes accessible the personal remembrances of U.S. military veterans, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they did, saw and felt. Visit //loc.gov/vets for more information about VHP. Uniting US is a nonprofit organization with the mission to inspire, empower and unite military, veterans, their families and the communities in which they live through the arts. Visit //unitingus.org/ for more information about Uniting US.

*Descriptions of combat, trauma and sexual assault may be distressing to some. VA Medical Center staff will be onsite to support anyone who may need assistance, or you may call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, and then press 1.

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