On Monday I had the pleasure of joining Second Lady of the United States, Karen Pence, in Killeen for the Texas Creative Forces Arts and Military Conference, hosted by the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Following the conference, we visited Fort Hood to learn more about their Art Therapy program.
At the Texas Creative Forces Arts and Military Conference, Karen and I both had the opportunity to address the conference attendees – which included artists, arts providers, arts therapists, the military community, and the general public.
Our time at Fort Hood included a tour of the Art Therapy program – located inside the Fort Hood Intrepid Spirt Center – then a roundtable discussion on Fort Hood’s Art Therapy program. Karen’s signature initiative as Second Lady of the United States is “Art Therapy: Healing with the HeART,” which focuses on promoting art therapy as an innovative and effective therapy for those with mental, emotional and physical wounds – including members of the military. Fort Hood currently has two creative therapists – Peter Buotte, an Art Therapist and Hannah Bronson, a Music Therapist – who shared their expertise on the subject. Also participating in the roundtable were several doctors and military spouses.
I learned so much about art therapy, and I am so thankful for the commitment of the doctors, therapists and other specialists I met at Fort Hood who are ensuring that our service members are getting the range of care they need to not only survive, but to thrive. We must continue to do all that we can to make certain our service members are able to properly heal, and Karen’s leadership and efforts to increase awareness of art therapy and its effectiveness is invaluable.
And, to get Second Lady Karen Pence's take on her tip to Texas, I encourage you to read her thorough and informative summary of the day's events and activities, which can be found here.