Art, writing, music and drama are considered to have healing powers that can help veterans transition from military to civilian life. But for some veterans, creative expression is what they want to pursue as a full-time career. Like any artist, these skilled individuals have a passion to create, innovate and share their unique visions with an audience.
Are you leaving the military and looking to make your mark in artistic fields such as theatre, dance, fine art, television, film, music, or multi-media/digital art? The road to a creative career can be tough and competitive, but there is support available that can help you overcome challenges and achieve your dream. The veteran-founded organizations below are specifically focused on helping veteran artists. They give veterans opportunities to network and learn, while honing and showcasing their artistic talents.
One of the largest supporters of veterans in the arts is the United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance (USVAA). The USVAA was founded in 2004 by military veterans, artists, and supporters, and is focused on supporting veterans in the arts, humanities, and entertainment industry. It helps veterans network and find opportunities for funding for artistic projects in film television, theatre, the visual/fine arts and crafts.
The USVAA also provides a host of resources to veterans including facilities for theatre and film production rehearsal time, reduced equipment rental rates, access to advice from arts and industry professionals, and more.
VAP provides artists who are veterans with mentorship, collaboration, and networking opportunities that can help drive their careers into the mainstream creative arts communities. VAP was founded by Army veteran BR McDonald and focuses on the Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Writing/Literature, Film/Video and New/Interactive Media. It also educates artists on how to secure funding.
In addition, VAP works with national veteran and arts organizations to create and produce documents, films, gallery exhibits, theatrical events and other opportunities that increase the visibility of veteran artists. One such event is the upcoming 2015 NYC Veterans Day Showcase, The Home Show, taking place on Thursday, November 12 at Lincoln Center in New York City. This special evening will feature a line-up of professional veteran artists in theater, film, music, prose, poetry, and dance. The event will be hosted by comedian and Marine Corps veteran James P. Connolly.
Learn more about the Veteran Artist Program and watch this video:
https://youtu.be/RryXfdsB0N8 (can we include the video here and not just the link?)
Over 400 military veteran artists are members of SocArtVets, a NYC-based non-profit organization that helps veterans who are pursuing careers in the arts. Founded by Neath Williams, a Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves and Tyler La Marr, a former Sergeant in the Marine Corps, SocArtVets creates, promotes and produces content by veteran artists and provides them with the opportunity to work in a professional artistic environment. The organization also educates audiences about the talents and work ethic that veterans have to offer.
Since the founding of the United States, veterans have been making significant contributions to all aspects of the art world. Good luck on reaching your career goals. Read this Omni Financial article for additional tips on pursuing a creative career.