Budget Cuts mission:
Budget Cuts began first as an art exhibition and informational night of art, storytelling, and conversation about our veterans and their connection to the arts. The conversation continues here as an online gathering of art, storytelling and conversation about our veterans and their connection to the arts.
It is a call to action to our community, country and our congress in response to the recent federal budget proposal:
- Fund veterans needs before any further spending on war and defense. We cannot send our service members to war when we are not taking care of them when they return.
- Save and expand the National Endowment for the Arts, which supports artists and programs that help our veterans.
We stress to our elected officials that the federal budget must prioritize veterans’ services on at least an equal footing with any increase in defense and weapons systems spending. Additionally, our representatives must understand that when they defund arts and humanities programs (the NEA, the NEH, Community Development Block Grants) they are defunding organizations that work with veterans through the arts and art therapy as a means for dealing with wartime experiences and trauma. This funding comes through the federal budget to national and states organizations, and often its wider impact and influence cannot be measured in simply numbers. We hope to create a peacful space for awareness, conversation and connection.
Images of the evening and gift baskets of art, writing and research created for our representatives and senators, which were hand delivered to their Fayetteville, Raleigh, and Wilmington offices.
Artwork & Writing
Videos in order as presented at Budget Cuts live event on April 13, 2017:
Breaking Rag: About - Video from Trish Brownlee
Jeremy Stainthorpe Berggren: http://warriorwriters.org/artists/jeremy.html
Video: Collaboration - Artwork by Trish Brownlee, Spoken Word El' Ja Bowens
In the news:
Using Art to Heal, Veterans Push to Save Funding
The Fayetteville Observer, Apr 22, 2017
How to take action:
Contact your elected officials and urge them to:
- vote against cuts to arts and humanities organizations in the proposed budget. Increase funding!
- focus funds instead on veterans - not war and defense spending
How to contact your elected officials:
Budget Cuts has currently focused on local Fayetteville leadership, Mayor Nat Robertson and the city council, by extending invitations to the April 13th event:
Special thank you to Kirk deViere for attending!
We also extended direct invitations and delivered gift baskets with art, writing and research presented for:
Senator Richard Burr: Link to Contact
Senator Thomas Tillis: Link to Contact
Representative Richard Hudson: Link to Contact
Representative Robert Pittenger: Link to Contact
You can find information to include in a basket for your own local and state representatives here, and DOWNLOAD the BUDGET CUTS: Veterans & The Arts RESEARCH PACKET.
Budget Cuts Postcard Campaign:
Print and mail this postcard to our elected officials about your concerns: DOWNLOAD POSTCARD
You can find more ways to contact elected officials here through the Arts Action Center.
Be Informed: Research & Links
Article on proposed budget:
Americans for the Arts
Statement on Budget Proposal Elimination the NEA from Americans for the Arts
Arts Mobilization Center: http://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/arts-mobilization-center
NC Arts: http://www.ncarts.org/
Watch the videos and information available on this page and see the veteran artwork & writing exhibited to learn more and learn what you missed at the April 13th live Budget Cuts event.
Press & Info
Using Art to Heal, Veterans Push to Save Funding
The Fayetteville Observer, Apr 22, 2017
Budget Cuts Live was a evening of artwork, writing and research, hosted by veterans, about the connected between veterans and the arts. It was held on April 13, 2017 at Revolutionary Coworking, at 100 Hay St in Fayetteville. The conversation now continues on this site. Scroll down for more information.
Buy Artwork & Writing
Below is work that was presented at Budget Cuts and included in gift baskets to the congressional leaders. Each image links to the original site to purchase the work directly from the creator.
Local Exhibiting Artists:
El’Ja Bowens: www.eljapoetry.com
Trish Brownlee: www.trishbrownlee.com
Andrea Nissen: www.ionarosestudio.com
From Just Seeds Collaboration, the work below came from
Celebrate the People's History IVAW Broadside:
Jim Lomasson: http://www.lommassonpictures.com/
Exit Wounds: http://lifeafterwar-soldiersstories.blogspot.com/
Warrior Writers: warriorwriters.org
Malachi Muncy: http://peacepaperproject.org/profiles/malachimuncy.html
Just Seeds Artists: JustSeeds.org
Aaron Hughes, Nick Lampert, Sanya Hyland, G. Scott Raffield, Jesse Purcell & more
Research & InfoRmation
Below is access to the information and research presented at the live event.
Jen Johnson, Invisible Wound of War: www.invisiblewoundsnc.com
More on the art therapy program at Walter Reed & more
Melissa Walker, Art Therapist: www.ted.com/speakers/melissa_walker
Creative Forces/NEA: https://www.arts.gov/partnerships/creative-forces
NY Times Article: Can Programs That Help the Military Save the Federal Arts Agencies? https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/27/arts/design/nea-walter-reed-military-art-therapy.html?_r=0
Database from Operation We Are Here on more programs: LINK
National Geographic Feature - Healing Soldiers:
Online interactive feature: www.nationalgeographic.com/healing-soldiers
or download the print version of the magazine here
About the Live Event
The April 13th event included:
- A multimedia exhibition and conversation in response to veteran artworks and writing from the personal collection of Trish Brownlee. Artwork and writing available as links on this site. See the Gallery
- Interactive presentations and research on veteran arts organizations and active arts therapy programs. All research presented are linked on this site.
Guest Speakers in order:
Introduction, Artist & Discussion Facilitator
Trish Brownlee, Breaking Rag: A Veteran & Community Art Project, Veteran, artist, advocate, and workshop facilitator for community and veteran art making. www.breakingrag.works
Andrea Nissen, Iona Rose Studio LLC - Fiber artist and veteran
Jen Johnson, Invisible Wound of War:
Jen Johnson is the creator and director of Invisible Wounds of War project in Wilmington, NC. She is a photographer, writer and Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice. Jen is the former Statewide Coordinator for the Independent Living Needs Program at the VA in Georgia and the former manager of the Brain Injury Vocational Rehabilitation Program at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA.
Trish Brownlee: Personal Work and experience as a veteran artist. www.trishbrownlee.com
El'Ja Bowens, Poetry-N-Motion, LLC - Author, motivational speaker, spoken word artist & veteran. www.eljabowens.com
- Audience Discussion & Open Reception
- Open mic, open discussion, open hearts and open minds are welcome.
More Veteran Artists At Work
FRONT LINE ARTS:
More about the work of Combat Paper NJ & Warrior Writers, serving the Northeast/MD
Video Credit: Susan Wallner, PBS State of the Arts NJ
Donate or purchase a T-shirt:
Donations support ongoing efforts to continue the Budget Cuts: Veterans & The Arts advocacy work and Breaking Rag program.
Artist, activist, teacher, and veteran Trish Brownlee began the Budget Cuts: Veterans & The Arts awareness campaign by first hosting an exhibit at Revolutionary Coworking on Thursday, April 13, 2017, focusing on the work of veteran artists, writers, performers, and more. The evening included discussion about how veterans benefit from art therapy and other arts practices, formal and grassroots, in the years following their service to our country. This presentation and exhibit was based on Trish's research during her MFA thesis and includes local and national working artists. The artwork and information presented is available on this site.
Purpose & AWARENESS
Breaking Rag is working in partnership with Cape Fear Indivisible, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fayetteville and Revolutionary Coworking to support this important, needed and timely conversation here in Fayetteville. We are reaching out to our local, state, and federal representatives so that they may see the human face of the budget items that they will be voting on. In addition to inviting them to the live event, we created four gift baskets with arts, writing and research from the exhibit for our senators and representatives, so that they may have this information and perspective as voting on the proposal federal budget begins in May, and hand-delivered them to offices in North Carolina.
By participating, attending and supporting the Budget Cuts: Veterans & The Arts campaign, we hope to peacefully and honestly make our representatives hear our voices regarding the recently proposed federal budget. We are highlighting some of the ways in which this budget would impact the veteran and military populations within our community. We hope to bring awareness and shed light on the veteran-arts connection in all its forms.
Congregation of Fayetteville
Breaking Rag: A Veteran, Family & Community Art Project, 2016-2020