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Virtual event to feature local veteran artists

Appeal-Democrat - 2/18/2021

Feb. 18—Yuba Sutter Arts & Culture and the Veterans Art Project (VETART) have teamed up to host a curated and interactive online event.

According to a press release, the Pop-Up Community Creative Arts Café will feature Yuba-Sutter area artists who have served in the United States armed forces in addition to presentations from art and music therapists.

As part of the event, an invocation and land acknowledgement will be offered, along with a moderated listening session.

The event is sponsored by the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission to provide wellness programs through various art forms for veterans, active-duty military, family members and caregivers, according to the press release.

It's part of a statewide, creative arts engagement series of events in partnership with local arts agencies like Yuba Sutter Arts & Culture whose artists act as second responders to help find a creative way to offer healing of another kind.

According to the press release, in collaborating with local communities across the state of California to produce the Pop-Up Cafés, VETART and its partners will introduce both professional artists and the mental health resources available to the veteran community.

"Event attendees will hear directly from the artists about the process of artmaking and the ways the arts have directly improved their health, sense of community and belonging, restored a connection to having hope and purpose, and to find a means of expression as part of their healing journey," it was stated in the press release. "Genres of art include ceramics, traditional beadwork, spoken word, music, painting, and photography. Resources to holistic mental health services will be shared."

With each regional event, local agencies, service providers, nonprofits and veteran groups are encouraged to connect with one another and to explore how the arts can be promoted within their communities. The Pop-Up Cafés are designed to engage dialogue, foster networking and to speak directly to the unique experiences and mental health challenges of the veteran community.

The results of the Pop-Up Cafés will be shared with the behavioral health services of the counties where the events take place as well as to boards of supervisors, state and federal representatives and senators, the governor, art boards, the press, and others including post-secondary educational entities, veteran service agencies, veteran service officers, and certifying officials.

"We are excited to be able to offer one more opportunity for our local veteran community and extended military family to be part of an art project during these difficult times," said David Read, executive director of Yuba Sutter Arts & Culture. "It is hoped that by discovering new and readily available artistic processes, Veterans can connect with a whole new area of health and wellness and healing,"

Local veteran artists presenting at the event include Navy and Army veteran Aaron Burks (visual arts); Air Force veteran Chris Thompson (ceramics); Navy veteran Joe Moye (music, theater, poetry, chalk art); Army veteran Bert Johnson (oil painting and music); Air Force veteran Brian Shul (photography); and Army veteran Luis Gonzalez (art major at Yuba College).

The local, free event will be livestreamed on March 6 from 2-5 p.m.

To register, visit


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