Dr. Joanna Hersey, associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of Music at UNC Pembroke, participated in a special event in Washington D.C. held at the Library of Congress.
More than 30 veteran artists from across the nation joined together for the exhibition, displaying and creating visual and performing arts in real-time across various spaces at the Library of Congress.
The “From Conflict to Creativity: Veteran Artists Showcase” focused on healing through the arts, providing support and resources for veteran artists, led by the non-profit organization Uniting US, dedicated to providing active-duty military, their families, and all veterans with inspiration and empowerment through the arts. In recognition of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD) Disorder Awareness Month, the artists focused on creativity in response to trauma and PTSD diagnosis, including military sexual trauma (MST). More than 1,000 visitors attended the three-day event.
Additionally, the Library of Congress American Folklife Center led veteran artists in an initiative to gather and preserve veteran stories, through their Veteran’s History Project. This project collects personal stories of military experience to enlighten future generations and includes audio, video and handwritten materials.
Dr. Hersey, a veteran of the United States Coast Guard, presented recitals and provided support during the exhibition with the Military Women Musicians Brass Quintet, an all-female military group representing the U.S. Army and the U.S. Coast Guard. Formed to support military events and honor service members through music, the group represents a combined total of 106 years of military service. The musicians also performed the Ukrainian National Anthem and accompanying music for a ceremony highlighting the donation of veteran artwork for the war effort in Ukraine.