COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.– FOX21 and the Colorado Springs Independent are teaming up once again for this year’s Give! Campaign.
We’re highlighting local organizations that need your help.
Tonight, we’re featuring a group at the Fine Arts Center that helps military veterans and their families transition back into civilian life through art therapy.
The Military Artistic Healing Program mostly works with people who are battling post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
And even though some of the veterans still have tough days, many of them say this program saved their lives.
“It makes a difference, it really does,” participant Sylvia Darbe said.
For 9 years, the Fine Arts Center has been helping hundreds of veterans heal through artist therapy.
“They feel powerless, so I need to empower them,” art therapist Kim Nguyen said. “So I give them the medium like pencil or markers so that they can be in control and then we develop the relationship.”
And they do it at the Fine Arts Center to keep the veterans out of clinics and military settings.
Places that can bring back memories of tough times.
“It saved my life. I was ready to end it when I came into the program and I see things with a whole new perspective,” Tommy Darbe said “I’ve met other veterans who I feel are much worse off than I ever was and I’ve seen them improve and come along and survive too.”
But this program isn’t just for men and women who have been deployed.
The Fine Arts Center has now started up a program for entire military families.
They say art can start conversations and bring them closer together.
“I think it’s just a way of expressing yourself, a way that you can’t do it in words,” Dir. of Education Tara Thomas said.
“This is a skill that you learn for life, and once you have it, you can deal with any other situation,” Nguyen said.
“Art is a way of saving a person. I never thought it would be,” Darbe said. “It’s not only a way of saving a person but giving them a whole new life as this has given me.”
The Military Artistic Healing Program is free for all military families, and some of the people who come into the program become professional artists.Learn more and Give! at indygive.com .