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, including 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 that establishes lasting connections to the arts and supports strong social relationships within the community.
- 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
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 is a Research Assistant Professor in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University, and she also serves as Program Director for the Veterans and the Arts Initiative at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. In recognition of her work, Dr. Dhokai is the 2018 recipient of George Mason University’s Jack Wood Award for Town Gown Relations in the faculty/staff category. Prior to joining the faculty at Mason, she worked with Veterans and Servicemembers recovering from injuries in post-acute neurorehabilitation in the Washington D.C. metro area by designing and facilitating music activities to support community integration. She is a violinist with a B.A. in Music from George Mason University, and she completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in Music (Ethnomusicology) from the University of Alberta, where her doctoral dissertation research was supported by a Fulbright grant to study in India.)
Ms. Shamala Capizzi, Program Assistant, Veterans and the Arts Initiative
Ms. Moon Sook (Judy) Lee, Program Assistant, Veterans and the Arts Initiative
Ms. Elizabeth (Mimi) Glass, Program Assistant, Veterans and the Arts Initiative
Ms. Penny Barrows, Associate, Veterans and the Arts Initiative