Traumatic experiences in military service, social and emotional difficulties in transitioning to civilian life, constant moves, deployments: all these contribute to a lost sense of purpose and to social isolation – even more profound when social distancing is the norm. In our post-9/11 years, arts-based initiatives have emerged as among the most promising interventions for veterans and their families. Working in partnership with both veterans’ services organizations and local arts groups, ASAP understands the arts, military culture, and the centrality of trauma-informed work. Free, seven-week classes in comedy, improv, storytelling, writing, theater, and visual arts provide an outlet for expression, skill-development, and camaraderie. When the pandemic hit, ASAP immediately took its classes online, increasing their frequency and reach exponentially. The community in DC and VA is now 1,000 veteran-artists strong. This work matters.
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Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.
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