County Supervisors honor 2018 Veterans Initiative in the Arts ABOUTFACE Program

 

“I had a complete meltdown with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). I thought I was losing my mind. I’d never been out of control before, and it was hard to admit I needed help, but I wanted my old self back. I’ve gotten that and more. I’m strong. I’m healthy. I have tools, I have knowledge, and I have strength and courage to deal with it. I’m doing just fine.” RON WHITCOMB SGT US ARMY 1968 – 1969 SQUAD LEADER, VIETNAM

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors recognized the 2018 Veterans Initiative in the Arts ABOUTFACE Program at their meeting on August 14th.  The ABOUTFACE: Self-Understanding through Self-Portraits Workshops (ABOUTFACE) offered visual arts activities that helped motivate veterans and their families to explore self-understanding, to think creatively, to be innovative and to improve their quality of life.

The teaching team of the recent ABOUTFACE, which consisted of:  Coordinator, Ryan Berg (U.S. Marine Corps Veteran); Facilitator, Felisa Gaffney, Ph.D., (U.S. Air Force – Retired); and Artist, Victoria Bianco, Ph.D., were honored by the board.

The 2018 ABOUTFACE participants in the six workshops were from across the County and represented a cross section of military service and age groups.  All of the participants said they would recommend ABOUTFACE to other veterans and over half said they are looking forward to exhibiting their self-portraits for the public to see and understand.

The Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County (AC5) worked with the County Veterans Service Department, the County Office of Communications & Media and the County Library to help select locations, distribute project information and to identify potential participants.  AC5 Commissioner Anderson was the Project Director, and the other AC5 Commissioners all contributed to the success of this outstanding program.  AC5 would like to thank the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and the California Arts Commission for the funding that made this program possible.

To learn more about this program or to interview the honorees making a difference for veterans, please contact Roger Renn, AC5 Executive Director, at (925) 646-2278.

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