As 2018 comes to a close, we’d like to take the opportunity to thank each and every person who has been a part of making this year full of art and writing and laughter and community. “True Community” as defined by M. Scott Peck, “emerges as the group chooses to embrace not only the light but life’s darkness. True community is both joyful and realistic…Members begin to speak of their deepest and most vulnerable parts–and others will simply listen. There will be tears–of sorrow, of joy. An extraordinary amount of healing begins to occur.”

This year we arrived at true community in weekly writing workshops at the USO Warrior & Family Center at Ft Belvoir, performance workshops, and art exhibitions. In our effort to build bridges beyond the military community, we began the very successful Torpedo Factory Art Center Monthly Writing Workshops (facilitated by an incredible group of visiting writers including Faisal Mohyuddin, Jeanann Verlee, Susanna Sonnenberg, Mary Guterson, Amy Stolls & Katy Day of the NEA Literature team) and sponsored the Transformative Language Arts Network’s Power of Words Conference in Plainfield, Vermont. The HBO Documentary “We Are Not Done Yet” highlighted the ten incredible veterans who shared their stories through a collaborative poetry performance, and the response was phenomenal. USN Veteran Jen Vaughn started a blog series on our newly redesigned website profiling veteran artists, and so many great people have offered to share their stories of writing and art with us, and we look forward to sharing those with you.

In 2019, we’ll need to step up to fill some major funding gaps to keep things going, but we are confident that we can do it, as long as you remain by our side. The supporters, volunteers, community partners, and artists who believe in this work are our greatest asset.

Thanks for a great year.

Seema Reza, Joe Merritt, Colin McKee, Amanda Kelly, Wytold Lebing, Amelia Bane, JJ Stakem, & Rina Shah