SACRAMENTO, Calif — About 30 veterans statewide got a chance to display their art and raise awareness today at a Veteran's Pop-Up Arts Cafe.
The free pop-up event took place on the west steps in front of the California State Capitol, celebrating and highlighting the role that arts and creative expression can play in supporting the health and well-being of veterans.
There were musicians, artists, pottery, painting, glasswork and more all on display.
Organized by the Veteran's Art Project (VETART) and sponsored by California’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC), many artists spoke about how art helps soothe their post-traumatic stress disorders, their process of art-making, and the ways the arts have directly improved their health and sense of community and belonging.
Many veterans see creativity and art as a form of hope and purpose and create art to find a means of expression as part of their healing journey.
"Being in the Navy, being an artist and traveling all over the world, seeing different cultures and different countries, I feel like that inspired me to develop my skills," said U.S. Navy veteran Carolina Hernandez.
VETART's Pop-Up Cafes are part of a statewide campaign to raise awareness about mental health services and the mental wellness of veterans, family members, caregivers and community members and those on active duty.
"I enjoyed my time in the Air Force," said former nurse and Air Force veteran Kiyo Sato. "I was stationed in the Philippines as a nurse, and wherever I went, I was curious about the culture, the language and the people."
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