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Free Content Veterans and an arts and crafts programme: a community of understanding and hope

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This article reflects on the experiences of a veteran community inside an arts and crafts room at a veterans hospital in Dallas, Texas. Arts and crafts play an important role in helping individuals to develop psychomotor, artistic and social skills. Whereas the majority of the veterans did not have any previous training in or experience of making art, they could follow basic instructions for making crafts. Craft making provided them with new opportunities for self-expression. I observed them start as learners and acquire the knowledge and productive skills to make arts and crafts. Then I watched them help other newcomers to the arts and craft room by teaching them the techniques. I understand this as a sociocultural practice that is very valuable for veteran communities.

Keywords: community arts; connected knowing; empowerment; social awareness; transformation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of North Texas in Denton.

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.
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