Yuma, AZ (February 19, 2019) – Thanks to a one-time $7,200 grant award from the Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma, the Veterans Art Project at Arizona Western College will now be able to continue through December.
“We, at the Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma, are proud supporters of education, art, and our veterans. We hope that our quick call to action, will ensure that local veterans continue to participate in the Veterans Art program at AWC,” said ACFY Regional Director Veronica Shorr.
“We are able to support this project thanks to a donor advised fund at the Arizona Community Foundation set up by a donor who is passionate about helping veterans in Arizona.”
The Veterans Art Project provides a ceramics class at no cost for veterans, active duty personnel, retired service members, and their families (spouses and children 18 and older). But it’s so much more than just an art class.
“These classes are intended to not only teach art-making skills, but to also utilize the creative process as the means to connect our former and current service members with one another and their communities,” said AWC Institutional Grants Coordinator Brenda Warnock.
“The works of art produced provide an outlet for expression in an environment designed for military veterans who have experienced post-traumatic or combat related stress and may be having difficulty adjusting to civilian life.”
AWC Professor of Fine Art Angel Luna shared that as the instructor for the class, he’s had the privilege of watching some of his students grow to love working with clay and continue to strengthen their skills to create both functional and decorative work in subsequent classes.
“I am extremely thankful that we have been able to continue the program,” said Luna. “This population of students needs to have different outlets to explore their creativity. I am humbled by working with these students and I also learn a lot by the different approaches and artistic eyes each student brings to me in a session.”
Since it first began in 2014, the Veterans Art Project has served 160 students including widows and children of Vietnam Veterans, Purple Heart recipients, combat veterans, and more.
“I took the class in 2015 and it was wonderful to get lost in art,” said Veteran Services Coordinator Gabriela Siqueiros. “For those few hours a week, nothing else mattered and time stood still while I worked on a special project.”
The Veterans Art Project is currently seeking funding for 2020. Potential donors can contact AWC Director of Institutional Advancement Renee Smith at Renee.Smith@azwestern.edu or (928) 344-1723.
Director of Institutional Advancement
Arizona Western College
Veteran Services Coordinator
Arizona Western College
The Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma presents a $7,200 grant award to Arizona Western College to continue the Veterans Art Project through December. Pictured left to right: AWC Coordinator of Development and Alumni Relations Gladys Anaya, AWC Director of Institutional Advancement Renee Smith, ACFY Regional Director Veronica Shorr, and ACFY Regional Philanthropic Coordinator Miguel Salcedo. Photo by Alejandro Lastra.