Veteran Support

The Everson, Arts, and Museums Help Veterans
The Everson has a long-standing partnership with the Syracuse VA Medical Center that includes creative arts programming for veterans and presenting works from the Center’s Veterans Creative Arts Festival. The Museum partners with the organization, Women Veterans Empowered & Thriving, a reintegration program for female veterans that utilizes creative workshops.

The Everson Museum Outreach Program has introduced art and, in some cases, awakened interest in the arts that many veterans have not thought about since they were children. During outreach sessions, veterans are exposed to art education and introduced to artists and artwork, some created in their own community. They are given an opportunity to create a piece of art inspired by what they hear and see in the sessions. By providing information about the Everson Museum in the sessions, veterans are learning about healthy leisure opportunities in the community.

“The Veterans’ Administration is grateful to the Everson Museum and the many volunteers who provide this program. We look forward to a continued partnership that provides an enriching experience for healing veterans,” says Erin Popcun, Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Popcun is a Physiatrist affiliated with the Syracuse VA Medical Center, 800 Irving Ave.

Creative arts and music therapists at VA medical facilities act as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help veterans.

Department of Veterans Affairs facilities incorporate creative arts into their therapy programs to help veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities. The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival is an annual celebration of the progress and recovery made through that therapy and is a way to recognize the creative achievements of veterans. The competition begins at a local level, where veterans enrolled in VA health care facilities submit work in visual arts. First, second, and third place entries are awarded for each category, and the competition culminates in a national exhibition featuring selected gold medal winners. A selection of the participants from the Syracuse VA Medical Center were first displayed at the Everson in 2017.

Blue Star Museum
The Everson Museum is a participant in the Blue Star Museums initiative—a program that provides free admission to active U.S. military personnel and their families. Blue Star Museums is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in collaboration with Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and participating museums nationwide.

“We’ve been honored to be a participating Blue Star Museum,” said Elizabeth Dunbar, Everson Museum Director & CEO. “It is not only to recognize the sacrifices of our service members, but to support the impact that the arts can have on military health.”

The 2023 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival took place April 10-16, 2023, in St. Louis, Missouri. That year, the festival brought together more than 110 creative Veterans from across the country and almost 60 percent of them were first-timers! Public Domain Mark 1.0 Universal.

The author’s son, a Marine Corps Sergeant, insisted on visiting the Everson while on leave in 2019.

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