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As human beings, we all need to feel useful, and we all need to have a release from the day-to-day stresses of life.
For armed forces members — both active and retired — these desires run even deeper. And that’s where the Workhouse Arts Center created SCAPE comes in. SCAPE, which stands for “Service member Community Art Partnership and Exchange,” has made it their life’s work to “use art as an opportunity for active and retired armed forces service members to express themselves through visual and performing art, exchange open dialog within the broader community and build individual resilience.” They aim to remove the stigma from mental illness, to develop new career opportunities in the arts for service members/veterans and as a catalyst for discourse.
The program has four major program components.
- Arts Education offers discounts for Service members and scholarships for members of the Armed Forces community.
- Exhibitions and Performances promotes the creation of an open forum for communications via art between the Armed Forces community and the community that surround them.
- Resident Artists program which assists Service members with an interest in creating a body of work and supports the Exhibitions and Performance program. Resident Artist participants also act as ambassadors to the art and the military.
- Therapeutic Art offers free open studio sessions — from service member/veteran-only sessions to family sessions — monitored by an art therapist and Resident Artist. According to the site, “The Workhouse will also offer space as a venue for art therapists to rent and offer sessions, as well as space for the Warrior Transition Unit program at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. The Workhouse will not be offering therapy or medical treatment.”
If you’re interested in seeing SCAPE’s work in action, or know a vet or active service member who could benefit, check out the organization’s “Fourth Friday” event at the Workhouse (9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton), which takes place the fourth Friday of almost every month. The next one is from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 26, and it’s totally free!
—McEnearney Associates, “SCAPE gives active and retired armed forces somewhere (else) to go”
Did I miss an event happening today? Know about something coming up? Have a real estate question? Let me know in the comments below.