Augusta is a better place to live, work, and raise a family thanks to its thriving, growing arts community. None of the things cited above would be possible without the support of the Morris Museum’s members, donors, and sponsors and the recognition and support it receives from the Georgia Council for the Arts. The story below is drawn directly from the VA Arts and Humanities Outcomes report from the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, GA. and provided to the Morris Museum. The Morris Museum of Art offers “ArtReach”, an outreach program that serves veterans residing in the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, Uptown Division, and those receiving outpatient services in its clinics. “ArtReach” serves veterans– whose wide range of learning styles, physical limitations, and/or chronic health conditions call for individual educational plans–a restorative and palliative program of art-centered projects and, as necessary, adaptive art tools, which enable residents with acute disability to make art. Participants are permanent residents of two separate Community Living Centers, one hospice, and an inpatient mental health unit, as well as outpatients receiving services in the clinic.
“Jennifer had begun seeking care at our VA in the Fall of 2016 for chronic PTSD. Jennifer, who had been practicing as a massage therapist and kinesiologist at our local military hospital, had come to a point that she needed therapy to manage her depression and anxiety and was interested in the alternative therapies provided at the VA. Because Jennifer began Music Therapy services, attending Drumming for Health and The Sound of Relaxation groups weekly, she became aware of the Art Reach program and signed up to participate. Jennifer, who came from an artistic family and she herself at one time had painted regularly, was thrilled at the opportunity to renew this interest again with the guidance of the artists the Morris Museum of Art brought in monthly to facilitate the program at the VA. Jennifer shared that her participation in Music Therapy and Art Reach has ‘helped her emotionally, all thoughts of pain, agitation, depression, fear and anxiety dissipate during the session, and I feel relaxed and in a safe place.’ With help of the Morris Museum of Art staff, Jennifer also was able to host an art show of her mother’s art work at a local assisted living facility that demonstrated the progression of her mother’s dementia. The art show was cathartic for Jennifer and her family: bringing healing to them and helping others.”