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PHILLY : STAKE

Warrior Writers received a $400 grant at Stake #2 on January 30th, 2011

1. Describe the project a STAKE Grant would help you accomplish:
Warrior Writers ( WW ) creates safe spaces where veterans feel empowered and supported. We help soldiers and veterans reflect on military experiences by creating art. Through books, performances and exhibits, veterans communicate with the public, nurturing understanding and promoting awareness.

WW will be supporting “Operation Recovery: A Campaign to Stop the Deployment of Traumatized Troops” By bringing together veterans from Philadelphia to share their experiences with trauma and deepen the Philadelphia community’s understanding of veteran’s issues. As well as share with the community the importance of veterans’ right to heal.

2. How will you use the grant toward the realization of your project? $750 is your imaginary budget:

The funds will pay to host a Philadelphia Operation Recovery Campaign launch event. This will include a creative workshop for veterans, a performance of their work and a community discussion. We will be able to pay for event space, posters and flyers, workshop and discussion facilitators, art supplies, and childcare for vets with children.This event will support the healing and skills development of local emerging veteran leaders while outreaching to more veterans and service members.
As well as share with the community the importance of veterans’ right to heal.

3. A little about yourself and what led you to your current creative goals. This may include a previous project of yours, ways it both succeeded and failed (this can be entirely unrelated to your proposal):
Lovella Calica founded WW in 2007 while working with Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). As an artist, she knew the cathartic benefits of using art to reflect and felt an urgency to create opportunities for the true voices of veterans to be heard.

Chantelle Bateman is a former Marine who began sharing her military experience through art as a tool to reach out and build community with other struggling veterans. She currently works as the northeast field organizer for IVAW as part of the Operation Recovery campaign team.

Lily Hughes is a co-founder and organizer with Civilian Soldier Alliance. For the past four years she has given organizing trainings to veterans and civilian allies around the country. She also worked with IVAW to develop their organizing model and leadership development program.

4. Why is this project important? How will it benefit the community?:

Through Warrior Writers both veterans and civilians are able to alter how they think about themselves, our culture and our ability to move forward together. Veterans begin to feel empowered and realize that their voice and perspective is important. Participating in WW has been pivotal and life changing for many veteran artists. Their artwork raises consciousness and questions mainstream beliefs about occupation, veterans, service and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We aim to create an educated community who will act as allies to veterans by raising awareness about their issues, and advocating for veterans’ right to heal through supporting the Operation Recovery Campaign.

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