Hylton Center’s Veterans and the Arts Initiative Launches a Free Tele-Arts Implementation Guide

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Provided by Hylton Performing Arts Center

The Hylton Performing Arts Center’s Veterans and the Arts Initiative announces a free Tele-Arts Implementation Guide for Military-Connected Community Members to serve as a resource for other organizations looking to incorporate tele-arts for their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

When the COVID pandemic forced individuals to stay home in March 2020, the Hylton Center’s Veterans and the Arts Initiative had to pivot its popular Ukulele Workshops for Veterans, Servicemembers, and their families to virtual instruction. Following successful iterations of virtual (tele-arts) workshops, and the positive impact the classes had on the participants’ well-being, support for an additional ukulele workshop series and the accompanying Tele-Arts Implementation Guide was provided by Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. The document includes step-by-step program-building strategies for any interested arts organization or community to develop accessible virtual programming.

Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs that seeks to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for military and Veteran populations exposed to trauma, as well as their families and caregivers. Creative Forces is managed in partnership with Americans for the Arts, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, and Mid-America Arts Alliance.

“As Creative Forces continues to expand and provide support for arts engagement programming for these military and veteran populations, resources such as this are valuable tools in understanding how to reach even more people through virtual opportunities,” said Bill O’Brien, Director of Creative Forces and Senior Advisor for Innovation, Office of the Senior Deputy Chairman at the National Endowment for the Arts.

“I am so proud of our Veterans and the Arts team, and all who are supporting the work,” said Rick Davis, Executive Director of the Hylton Center and Dean of George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. “Not only does this project make a tangible, immediate contribution to the well-being of a very important population, but now the Tele-Arts Guide allows it to be replicated in communities anywhere.”

This fall, the Veterans community has access to a hybrid lineup of programming with the popular Ukulele Workshop Series (free to Veterans, Servicemembers, military family members, and military caregivers) in-person and on Zoom Tuesdays, Sept. 14 to Oct. 26. At the end of the series, there will also be a bonus ukulele workshop on Zoom Nov. 2. The Songwriting Series for Military Kids (free to Veterans, Servicemembers, military family members, and military caregivers) has returned in-person Sept.  26 to Oct. 31 in a comfortable, safe environment.

With regard to programming options this fall, Niyati Dhokai, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and Program Director of the Veterans and the Arts Initiative, said, “The Veterans and the Arts Initiative is offering hybrid music workshops that are simultaneously online and in-person. We received a positive response to virtual programming and want to maintain community engagement opportunities for those who are still unable to access the Hylton Center.”

Later in the fall, the Veterans and the Arts Initiative will sponsor a special Veterans Day concert featuring The War and Treaty on Nov. 14. Named Americana Music Awards 2019 Emerging Act of the Year, this husband-and-wife duo of Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount will dazzle in their Merchant Hall debut drawing on traditional folk, country, R&B, and more. $44, $37, $26; Free for Veterans and Servicemembers with ID (up to two tickets each).

Learn more about the Veterans and the Arts Initiative.

Veterans and the Arts Initiative sponsors: Dominion Energy, City of Manassas, J Barrows Sales Training, Service2Software, Virginia Commission for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Guitar & Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA), OBXTek, and Harry and Zoe Poole Foundation.

The 2021-2022 Hylton Performing Arts Center sponsor: F.H. Furr Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning & Electrical.

Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs that seeks to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for military and Veteran populations exposed to trauma, as well as their families and caregivers. Creative Forces is managed in partnership with Americans for the Arts, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, and Mid-America Arts Alliance.

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