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

Veterans and the Arts Initiative

The Veterans and the Arts Initiative has served as an arts and community hub for our local Veterans, Servicemembers, their families, and community members since 2014.

The Initiative has brought our community together at the Hylton Performing Arts Center to engage with the arts through performances, workshops, lessons, exhibitions, and special events that have featured the arts. Past offerings have included music, visual art, dance, and poetry. The intended benefit of the Veterans and the Arts Initiative is to facilitate community engagement through local arts organizations and educators, establishing lasting connections to the arts and supporting strong social relationships within the community.

Fall 2020 Veterans and the Arts Initiative Workshops and Events

Fall 2020 workshops and events will be held online, as all in-person performances and events have been suspended through Fall 2020. Learn more about our fall 2020 online workshops.

  • Serve as an arts and community hub for Veterans, Servicemembers, and their families
  • Provide support to Veterans as they transition to civilian communities
  • Conduct research on how the arts support Veterans and their families
  • Create innovative and inclusive applied arts programming for diverse groups of Veterans
  • Develop educational opportunities for Mason students
  • Extend the national conversation on arts, health, and the military
Research Agenda
  • Veterans and the Arts Initiative Guitar Workshops

    • Longitudinal ethnographic study of the intergenerational guitar program to derive baseline characteristics, including qualitative and quantitative data, of those who are interested in community engagement through music interventions

  • NEA grant-funded research study in 2019 – 2020 in collaboration  with the Sport Medicine Assessment Research and Testing (SMART) Laboratory at George Mason University and the College of Health and Human Services
    • Community-engaged project studying the effects of arts programs on quality of life, physical performance, and perceptions of self in older adults

Collaborations with national-level multidisciplinary panels in 2018 and 2019 to present research findings at the Gerontological Society of America’s Annual Scientific Meeting



Please consider supporting the Veterans and the Arts Initiative, so we can continue to provide arts programming, workshops, and lessons to Veterans, Servicemembers, their families, and military caregivers free of charge.


Dr. Niyati Dhokai, Program Director for the Veterans and the Arts Initiative 

Emily Fasick, Program Assistant, Veterans and the Arts Initiative


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