Healing Arts for Veterans Program

The Georgetown Arts and Culture Program will provide arts components to the Rotary Club of Georgetown’s 2020 Field of Honor® that include healing and outreach to veterans, military service-members, and first responders through music, visual art, and community engagement in a public art project. There is currently insufficient capacity and funding within the health care community to serve the physical and mental health issues of veterans, service-members, and first responders. We needed to create an arts program to raise awareness of the issues confronted by this underserved population and present options for artistic programming that help address these issues.

The first arts component of the Healing Arts for Veterans Program, “Storytelling Through Music”, includes adapting stories by veterans into lyrics and set to music by professional musicians from Austin Classical Guitar and country music artist Wynn Williams. The storytelling is designed to help veterans process trauma from their service in the military. The music will be performed on November 7th by country music artist Wynn Williams. The music performance was planned for the Field of Honor® location; however, the public performance at the field was cancelled due to COVID. Instead there will be a private performance off-site and a video produced that will include the music performance, the mural installation, and the breathtaking views of the Field of Honor. More details on the performance will be announced soon!

“Removing the Mask” was planned as the second component of the project and included artwork created by veterans through the Resilient Me art therapy program featuring mask making. Artwork created at this workshop was planned for exhibition at the Field of Honor®; however, due to COVID, the workshops could not be facilitated. So the mask making workshop was cancelled, and the music program was expanded.

Component three includes a public art mural located in the Texas Cultural District encompassing downtown Georgetown. The Arts and Culture Program is collaborating with the local pet supply business, Wag Heaven, to create a service-dog themed public art mural to honor our K-9 service heroes while commemorating the Rotary Club of Georgetown’s Field of Honor®, as well as the first canine Purple Heart recipient, Nemo A534. The mural will begin installation during the week of Veterans Day and will include opportunities for volunteers to come help paint. The Call for Art has closed, and the artist selected to design and install the mural will be announced soon!

This collaborative program was proposed in applications to both the National Endowment for the Arts: Arts Engagement in American Communities Grant Program and the Texas Commission on the Arts: Arts Respond – Health and Human Services Grant Program funded through Creative Forces. Georgetown’s Healing Arts for Veterans Program was awarded $10,000 from the NEA and $4,000 from the TCA. The Arts and Culture Board is very excited to receive this funding and bring this type of healing arts programs for veterans to Georgetown.  With the established success and prestige of the Rotary Club of Georgetown’s annual project: the Field of Honor® – Honoring Service Above Self, this program will expand the reach of both the Georgetown Arts and Culture Program and the Field of Honor® to continue building community through the arts!

For more information on the Rotary Club of Georgetown’s Field of Honor®, please click here.