Military Art Art is a celebration of life, intended by the artist to put the spectator in touch with the divine.
– Joseph Plaskett, Canadian painter

Have you ever wanted to create art to express yourself? Cape Fear Studios is offering the opportunity to do just that to military-affiliated members of the community. The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County has awarded funding to Cape Fear Studios to offer classes to military personnel, their spouses, and their children through Creative Arts and Military Outreach (CAMO).

CAMO launched in 2018, employing a coordinator who works with military and military-adjacent organizations throughout Cumberland County. The initial phase of CAMO served as a needs assessment – reviewing arts, culture and history opportunities available specifically for members of the military and their families.

Initially funded for the first two years through a Military and Healing Arts grant from N.C. Arts Council, CAMO also had private funding from the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County.

COVID-19 brought a realignment of funding priorities for N.C. Arts Council, which eliminated the Military and Health Arts grant program in 2020. For the past two years, the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County has funded the initiative through internal fundraising efforts.

Pre-COVID-19, CAMO enrollment benefited as many as 150 people per quarter. The visual arts and pottery classes taught now by local artists at Cape Fear Studios will support learning for around 70 individuals through May 2022.

All military and military-affiliated individuals are welcome in CAMO classes regardless of their skill level.

CAMO serves active-duty soldiers, veterans and family members looking for therapeutic and enjoyable ways to develop their artistic skills. And especially family members of deployed active-duty soldiers and veterans with past deployments.

Cape Fear Studios provides a safe and accommodating space where military members and their families can commune and connect. The idea behind bringing the military community together in a creative space is to provide them with an outlet for quality time not directly related to their work or home lives. Cape Fear Studios will begin their CAMO partnership by offering a variety of classes, including drawing classes with Sara Jane Lee, painting classes with Angela Stout, and pottery lessons with Guy Jencks.

Cumberland County has a lot to offer in terms of art, culture and history," said Kennon Jackson, Jr., Executive Vice President of the Fayetteville/Cumberland County Arts Council. "The Arts Council fully supports its military community."

CAMO provides military members and their families a no-cost option to enjoy a creative outlet that otherwise may not be available to them. Through CAMO, the Arts Council also seeks to capitalize on the expertise and value in its partnerships with nonprofit arts organizations like Cape Fear Studios.

The plan is to spread the word through Facebook, including Facebook groups for military wives and families, word of mouth, and the Cape Fear Studios Website. Classes offered as part of the CAMO program will be free. For additional information, visit www.capefearstudios.com or artgallery@capefearstudios.com.

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