Joint Committee on the Arts to Convene Hearing for Veterans and the Arts

Pictured: The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s ArtOASIS is a high-quality arts program supporting the recovery of active military personnel from the symptoms of combat-related stress, funded in part by a Veterans in the Arts grant from the California Arts Council.

SACRAMENTO, CA –  The California Arts Council will participate in a Joint Committee on the Arts Informational Hearing tomorrow afternoon dedicated to examining the role of creative programming and arts therapy in benefiting veterans and military members suffering physical or psychological trauma. California is home to nearly 2 million veterans and 200,000 active-duty and ready reserve personnel.

Chaired by Senator Ben Allen, Veterans and the Arts: Healing Lives through Creative Expression will be divided into three separate panels, featuring state and federal veteran and arts organizations, and firsthand testimony from community arts providers and veterans themselves.

Speakers include:

  • Vito Imbasciani, M.D., Secretary, California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet)
  • Anne Bown-Crawford, Director, California Arts Council
  • Nolen V. Bivens, Brigadier General, U.S. Army, Retired; Military and Arts Community Engagement Advisor, National Endowment for the Arts and Department of Defense Creative Forces Initiative
  • Adam Stone, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired; Member, So Say We All
  • Phyllis T. Miller, U.S. Navy, Retired; Artist; Creator and Founder, The Veterans Art Venue
  • Christopher Loverro, U.S. Army, Retired; Founder, Warriors for Peace Theatre; Participant, The Veterans Project, Diavolo Dance
  • Amber Hoy, U.S. Army, Retired; Artist; Artist Programs Manager, Kala Art Institute
  • Elizabeth Washburn, Executive Director, Combat Arts San Diego
  • Reginald Green, U.S. Navy, Retired; Volunteer Instructor, VetArt
  • Samuel R. “Mombo” Hernandez, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired; Musician and Teaching Artist, Del Norte Association for Cultural Awareness
  • Rebecca Vaudreuil, Ed.M., MT-BC, Music Therapist; Music Therapy Lead, Creative Forces Initiative; Concussion Care Clinic, Camp Pendleton

View a detailed agenda at this link:

Since 2014, the California Arts Council has addressed the unique needs of the state’s veterans through its Veterans in the Arts program. The grant program offers support to nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies, and veteran’s assistance agencies providing arts opportunities for veterans, active military, and their families. Veterans in the Arts has grown steadily since its pilot year: More than $400,000 was invested in veteran-focused projects from 49 organizations during the 2016-17 fiscal year, with a now $600,000 allocation slated to be awarded in 2017-18.

In 2017, the California Arts Council hosted an arts and military summit as part of the Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, prioritizing art therapy as a fundamental component of patient care at participating military medical facilities, including Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton of San Diego County.

“This hearing reaches beyond the intrinsic value of the arts to their propensity for healing, and directs that healing toward an all too often overlooked population—our veterans,” said Anne Bown-Crawford, California Arts Council Director. “This level of well-focused support and understanding of art’s capacity by our state Legislature is immensely refreshing and reassuring.”

The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, in Room 2040 of the state Capitol. It will be broadcast live via an accessible link located at

For further information and to RSVP, please contact Joint Committee on the Arts Consultant Lauren Pizer Mains at or call 310.318.6994.

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The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California’s diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.
Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Vice Chair Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Juan Devis, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Donn K. Harris, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at

Kimberly Brown

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