A 2paragraphs Interview with BR McDonald, Founder, President and Executive Producer of the Veteran Artist Program
Q: In describing the Veteran Artist Program you talk about “opening up new ways to serve” through artistic expression. How important and deeply ingrained is the notion of “service” in veterans–and is it vital that they shift some of their focus to serving themselves as individuals?
A: The notion of service for veterans is not just about what we’ve accomplished in the military. The current generation of military veterans is driven, innovative and creative and wanting to continue to make change in America. Two wars in 10 years have given an amazing perspective to a young warrior class that represents all walks of American society. While many people “thank” veterans for their service, the preferred exchange should be, “what are you doing now to serve.” In the case of veteran artists, the best way to do that is to own their creativity in a time where most people don’t put the military and the arts in the same space.
At the Veteran Artist Program (VAP), we believe that veterans are the shining example for a prosperous and hopeful future in America. As the next greatest generation, post-9/11 veterans are using the arts to communicate their experience, bridge the civilian-military divide and transform the arts in America. VAP is focused on giving veterans the tools and mentorship they need to express their experience and craft at the highest levels of the mainstream creative arts community. It is imperative that veterans serve their own dreams in order to set the example, not only for other transitioning service members but for a nation that is eager to connect, understand and embrace the veteran.
– BR McDonald, VAP Founder, President and Executive Producer