For as long as there has been public discourse, the arts have served as a vehicle for advocacy: To voice dissent, to activate a movement, to facilitate mental processing and catharsis, to wound, to heal, and always in response to something larger than any one individual. Art as advocacy gives context to the overwhelming, taking complex issues and making them tangible.
This is art in action.
There are sixteen veterans – thirteen men and three women – who have been coming to the Quick Center every night for months. They share their stories, they rehearse, they bare their souls, and then they hop on a small transport van back to Homes for the Brave, a rehabilitative shelter in Bridgeport, CT, that has “provided housing, vocational training and job placement, mental health and addiction services, and life skills coaching to help Veterans leave homelessness behind” since 2002.
WAR STORIES: A Veteran’s Project aims to give a voice to the voiceless, and offers a view of the lives of men and women who have fallen through society’s cracks. The piece, which is a collaboration between writer Sonya Huber, artist Nina Bentley, and directed by Peter Van Heerden, received support from CT Office of the Arts and the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts, and was one of three pieces invited to be previewed at Connecticut Arts Day in Hartford.
The final piece was performed at the Quick Center for the Arts on March 31 at 8:00 p.m. and April 1 at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. to sold-out audiences.