Is it just for military veterans?
Absolutely not. The creations are generated by military veterans in order to give voice to the veteran experiences, but since an important part of the mission of the VCPA is to bridge gaps between the veteran and civilian communities, the new works are then further developed and produced by both military veterans and civilians.
Is the only topic war? Is it pro-war or anti-war?
No. There is no requirement for subject matter. Veterans may create on any topic they so desire. For example, we have several plays written by veterans that range in subject matter from an Australian Aboriginal experience during the Vietnam War to a musical about bugs.
Is it all “Victim Art” or Political Art?
Of course not. We have no pre-ordained agenda for subject matter. Certainly some material will include voices of victims, but we always strive toward our motto: “No pity. No apology. No Political Agenda.”
Is everyone in the organization a vet?
We integrate the talents and skills of veterans and civilians. We invite professional artists from the visual, fine, and performing arts to mentor military veterans. The material is generated by the veteran, then artist-mentors guide the veteran through a collaborative development process, resulting in the full realization of his/her work. Inclusion is key to reintegration, and so we include the not only veterans, but also their families, friends, and members of their surrounding community. We encourage everyone who has been affected by the service of those who have been in the military to participate in the sharing of veteran voices.
Is this all about the war in Iraq/Afghanistan?
Definitely NOT. We include ALL military veterans, regardless of when and where they served; all service is respected and represented. From the last surviving grunt from WWI to the National Guard water purification specialist, we want them all.
Is your organization a therapy program?
We are not a therapy program. Yet, it IS therapeutic. A key facet of our mission is the inclusion of the audience. These stories must not only be voiced, but also heard. We seek to present works that are meaningful, thought-provoking and entertaining. Art as therapy has a reputation of being only for the artist, and that is not what we do. We believe that helping veterans express themselves in a way that reaches an audience can be therapeutic for both the veteran and audience.
I know/am related to a vet, what should I tell them about your program?
Tell them to contact us, visit our website or come to one of our functions. Or contact us yourself, and we may be able to contact your person of interest. Part of our program includes community outreach in which we go out and interview veterans.
So, is your organization helping homeless veterans?
Our mission is to provide a voice to all veterans through artistic expression. Although we believe all vets need that expression, homeless veterans represent a small percentage of all veterans and there are other organizations dedicated specifically to the needs of the homeless who have served.