BALTIMORE, MD (May 20, 2019) - This summer, the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), the Fine Arts Office of the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), and the Institute for Integrative Health (Institute) will present the Veteran-Ready Community Arts Micro-credential course, a new suite of competency-based professional learning courses for facilitators of creative classrooms geared toward veterans. An announcement event will take place on June 19th from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Institute’s headquarters in Baltimore. To RSVP for this event, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the event, the Institute is pleased to present an exciting preview of Sticks & Stones, an exhibition featuring veteran art and their stories of healing through creative expression and other works related to trauma, substance abuse, mental health challenges, and healing. Sticks and Stones is a New Day Campaign project curated by Peter Bruun, in partnership with JW Rone, the Institute’s Director of Veteran Initiatives.
The Institute, as partner and author of the course, will facilitate the two-day workshop focusing on engaging veterans in creative practice. Each course focuses on developing a specific skill and acquiring a specific knowledge reservoir for use in schools and communities, including music, dance, visual arts, literary arts, media arts, theatre, and multidisciplinary arts spaces. Participants are able to personalize their professional learning by selecting topics based on their own professional needs, successfully completing the course, and submitting evidence of mastery to receive the micro-credential. All courses are free.
Veterans often struggle as they transition from the active-duty military life they have known to the civilian world. Many veterans have discovered that engaging in the arts—painting, writing poetry, learning to play a musical instrument, dancing, and so on—provides a sense of wholeness that has shown in outcome evaluations to decrease anger, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, and a sense of isolation. Arts engagement can play an important role in helping to place a veteran suffering from trauma on a path of healing and wellness.
“We’ve witnessed the power of arts engagement with the veteran community through our Vet Arts Connect program,” says Dr. Brian Berman, founder and president of the Institute for Integrative Health, a health-focused non-profit and think tank headquartered in Baltimore. “So much of healing takes place outside the doctor’s office. Art experiences can help to ease symptoms related to post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and depression.”
“This program will shine a light on the transformative power of the arts. The Maryland State Arts Council is proud to collaborate with the Maryland State Department of Education’s Fine Arts Office and The Institute for Integrative Health to positively impact the lives of service men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country,” said MSAC executive director Ken Skrzesz.
The Veteran-Ready Community Arts Provider Training opens for registration this Spring and coincides with Governor Larry Hogan’s recent appointment of 2019 as Year of the Veteran. This year-long observance raises awareness of the brave service and sacrifices our United States veterans and families have made for Maryland and the country.
Founded in 1967, MSAC is an agency of the State of Maryland Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, and encourages and invests in the advancement of the arts for all Marylanders. Its grants and programs support artists and arts organizations in their pursuit of artistic excellence, ensure the accessibility of the arts to all citizens, and promote statewide awareness of arts resources and opportunities. MSAC awards grants to not-for-profit, tax-exempt organizations and individual artists, and provides technical and advisory assistance to individuals and groups. The agency is funded by an annual appropriation from the State of Marylandand a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. MSAC may also receive contributions from private, non-governmental sources. For more information, go to msac.org.
With a mission to promote meaningful engagement in arts education for all Maryland students, the Fine Arts Office seeks to support the rich network of 24 local school systems. Micro-Credentials for Creative Classrooms is their latest professional learning offering for facilitators of creative classrooms throughout Maryland. For more information, go to mcreds.org.
The Institute for Integrative Health (www.TIIH.org), a health-centered nonprofit and think-tank founded in 2007, works to build healthier communities by asking—and answering—questions that examine the biological, behavioral, and societal factors that impact health and wellness on a daily basis. In addition to supporting a team of researchers (Institute Scholars and Fellows), who explores the science of integrative health, the Institute creates and tests programs with the goal of improving the health and wellness of the communities they engage.