Veteran-Oriented Performances Discussed at APAP Annual Conference

1313619298assoc_performing_arts_199Jeremy Nobel MD, MPH, Founder and President of the Foundation for Art & Healing, served as a presenter at the 2016 annual conference for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) in New York City. The Conference is the largest of its kind with nearly 4,000 arts professionals from all 50 states and 30 countries represented.  At the conference, Dr. Nobel facilitated an in-depth  panel discussion, organized by the New England Foundation for the Arts, on how artists are using theater to help veterans and their families address reentry issues.

The panel featured three artists who are creating powerful and important new works reflecting on the military experience and reintegration into civilian life:

Linda Paris-Bailey Linda Parris-Bailey is the Executive/Artistic Director of The Carpetbag Theater and author of the award-winning play Speed Killed My Cousin (2012), which presents the story of a young, African-American female veteran of the Iraq War, and her struggle with Moral Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Military Sexual Trauma.

Anne Hamburger Anne Hamburger is the Executive Producer and Founder of En Garde Arts which created and toured BASETRACK LIVE, a theatrical collaboration between the award-winning theater company and corpsmen and families of the 1st Battalion/8th Marines.

KJ Sanchez KJ Sanchez is the founder/CEO of American Records whose flagship production, ReEntry, is based on interviews with Marines returning from deployment. In addition to touring, American Records contracts with the Department of Defense, utilizing ReEntry as resiliency training for troops at military bases across the country and internationally.

The presenters addressed the importance of directly engaging with military communities during the creation of their work. The interaction serves as a therapeutic witness to their experiences,  and also provides an authentic voice to the narrative of the productions.  They also stressed the important need for establishing community outreach programs on military bases in each community that they present in.  This groundwork grants them access to their core audience, allowing the arts to serve as a bridge between the veterans and the civilian communities they live in.

Robert Lynch, Americans for the Arts CEO with Foundation for Art & Healing founder and president, Dr. Jeremy Nobel

Robert Lynch, Americans for the Arts CEO, with Foundation for Art & Healing founder and president, Dr. Jeremy Nobel at APAP annual conference in NYC.

“The Foundation is delighted to support this session highlighting so nicely the effective use of creative expression to ease the reentry process of our nation’s veterans,” said Nobel who also emphasized, “that while these performances are neither therapy sessions or substitutions for psychotherapy, they often, educate, inspire and empower audiences to seek out resources and help, resulting in greater sense of connection and well-being.”

This panel is part of a series of activities that the Foundation will be participating in around country this year on creative expression and its benefit for veterans, active duty military, and their families. For information on our upcoming events be sure to join our mailing list.