ART/Forums Educational Programs focus on the social and cultural history of the Arts and the Military, from World War I to the present

Understanding the traditions of the Arts and the Military allow current expressions to become future legacies

ART/Forums presents educational programs for cultural, educational, medical, and military institutions.

Offerings include lectures and presentations, public history courses for undergraduate and graduate students, workshops for senior communities, and the development of resource lists of documentary films, and visual and performing arts initiatives that are focused on the issues of military communities. We also offer complementary program recommendation for ART/Ifacts Exhibitions and ART/Works Workshops. Additionally, we participate in consulting partnerships with communities nationwide for the development of arts events for service members, military families, and veterans. Our future plans include the sponsorship of an online journal devoted to visual and performing arts inspired by military culture.

ART/Forums educational programs focus on the social and cultural history, from World War I to the present, teaching ways in which the arts have been used for rehabilitation, vocational training, well-being, and efficacy for those in the military. Across a 100-year continuum is the belief that creative and curative hand work contributes to a well-balanced community-grounded, holistic life —head, heart, and hand.

The story of the Arts and the Military weaves together medical advances during wartime, social service applications of the philosophies of the Arts and Crafts Movement, the Studio Craft Movement, and today’s DIY-inspired Craftivism. Significant to this story is the blossoming of such women-dominated care giving professions as occupational therapy, recreational therapy, art therapy, and music therapy, as well as post-war realities of how best to socially, economically and vocationally reintegrate disabled service members and veterans back into their communities. Arts initiatives have been created for service members, veterans, and military families by the government, the military, social service agencies, hospitals, and cultural institutions.

ART/Forums is purposed to share the complex and fascinating history of the Arts and the Military with civilian and military audiences. We believe an understanding of this honorable history enhances the present-day efforts of medical staff caring for wounded warriors, military personnel at the war front and the home front, and civilians working within military communities. Knowledge is empowering and the history is inspiring.

ART/Forums Services Include

Lectures & Presentations

Teaching & Mentoring

Consulting/Events Planning

Lectures & Presentations

A Cultural Narrative

Since 2010 we have been researching and writing the cultural history of the arts and the military, looking at the ways in which the arts were used within the military and by veterans and military family members for purposes of rehabilitation, vocational training, well-being and efficacy, and readjustment to civilian life.

Unique and universal themes emerge from the stories of World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as revealed below.

Iraq & Afganistan

Peace Paper Project

Gold Star mother Meredith McMackin (above) has helped establish Julian’s Creative Arts workshop at Florida State University in memory of her son. Meredith is completing an Art Therapy degree and will continue to work with military communities.


Self Portrait – Man Split Apart

Vietnam veteran Sky David addressed his war experience in a painting from 2005, created some 35 years after service.

World War II

During and after WWII the Museum of Modern Art in NYC ran a War Veterans’ Art Center that offered recreational and pre-vocational classes for returning service members and veterans.

World War I

After WWI crippled and disabled soldiers learned such trades as printing through military-sponsored vocational training programs during rehabilitation at hospitals like the one at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

We provide conference speakers and training sessions about the cultural history of the Arts and the Military.

We can deliver lectures and presentations that complement exhibitions and community projects, or that meet your organizational need for keynote speakers. You can expect high-quality and engaging presentations that meet your educational and interpretative goals.

We offer several engaging lectures and presentations focused on the cultural history of the arts and the military from World War I to the present. We are particularly interested in the use of the arts for rehabilitation, vocational training, service member well-being and efficacy and veteran readjustment to civilian life. Our lectures consider the growth of occupational therapy during World War I; the development of the Army's Basic Seven arts program after World War II; and art making as a form of social activism by veterans who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our current presentations document the arts and military history from World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are...

•   Art From War: Documenting Devastation/ Realizing Restoration

•  In Service to the Nation: Arts and Crafts and the Military

•  Art Making and Activism: Combat Paper Project

•  The Arts and the Military



Here is a brief view of the history included in our lectures. 

o Lectures and presentations on the history of the arts and the military

o Training sessions on the history of the arts and the military

o Project-directed research

o Project-directed writing

We have been asked to present our lectures at the following locations and events:

— National Marine Corps Museum

— Boston Athenaeum

— Library of Congress -- John W. Kluge Center

— Salina Art Center

— Cameron University

— Military Experience and the Arts 2

— Because Hope Matters Radio

— Seminole Nation Museum and Seminole State College

— Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

— Arts, Military + Healing

— Society for the Arts in Healthcare

— La Salle University

— Smithsonian Institution -- Master's Program in the History of Decorative Arts

— George Mason University -- College of Visual and Performing Arts

— Friends Academy

— City of Wewoka, Oklahoma

— St. Paul's School

— Friends School of Baltimore

— Smith Center for Healing and the Arts