Friday, December 15, 2017
Military News

Karen Pence: Art therapy is more than just arts and crafts

TAMPA — The second lady wants you to take art therapy seriously.

Karen Pence, speaking at a summit Tuesday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, said she recently pitched her cause to a "high-level person" overseas and was met with derision.

"This woman was like, ‘Oh, that’s — that’s really nice. That’s great, yeah,’?" Pence said, quoting the woman in a soft but condescending tone. "They just don’t get it."

The second lady, a watercolor artist and former teacher whose husband is Vice President Mike Pence, made her remarks at a summit run by Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, a federal initiative that funds art therapy for veterans and military patients with traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Pence, who spoke to about 90 people as they ate lunches of chicken caprese and mojito pork, said she wants to elevate art therapy’s reputation.

"It is not arts and crafts," she said.

She wants patients, especially those in the military, to be open to the treatment and wants more young people to consider becoming art therapists.

The speech came days after Pence spoke at Florida State University in Tallahassee, home to an art therapy graduate education program.

She gave several stories of military members and veterans who told her that the treatment helped them when they were traumatized or suicidal.

"Art therapy is changing lives, and I will say it’s saving lives," she said.

Pence also lauded Tampa’s James A. Haley VA Medical Center. This week, the center will open a Creative Forces program that offers patients art therapy for mental health issues, Haley spokeswoman Karen Collins said Tuesday.

Collins said she is excited for the federal program to bolster the art therapy options the hospital offers, including treatment from a creative arts therapist and musical therapist.

"They’re always some of our more popular classes," she said.

Judy Lisi, president of the Straz, spoke before Pence and lauded the benefits of making and enjoying art.

"Arts have always been about healing," Lisi said. Now, she thinks, more people are starting to believe that.

Contact Langston Taylor at [email protected] Follow @langstonitaylor.

Comments
Woman fired from Bay Pines health center calls it retaliation for complaints of harassment

Woman fired from Bay Pines health center calls it retaliation for complaints of harassment

Chalea Weekes fumes each time she sees another entertainer, politician or public figure stand accused of sexual harassment.Fired from her job in the social work department at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, Weekes says in federal complaints that ...
Published: 12/14/17
Saturday’s sonic booms likely from F-15 fighters, NORAD says

Saturday’s sonic booms likely from F-15 fighters, NORAD says

Those sonic booms heard across the state Saturday afternoon were likely from two F-15 fighter jets protecting President Donald Trump during his visit to Florida, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.The jets, which belong to the ...
Published: 12/11/17
Transgender people can enlist in military Jan. 1

Transgender people can enlist in military Jan. 1

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is allowing transgender people to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, despite President Donald Trump’s opposition. The new policy reflects growing legal pressure on the issue, and the difficult hurdles the federal gover...
Published: 12/11/17
Gold Shield Foundation honors Bondi

Gold Shield Foundation honors Bondi

TAMPA — Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was honored by the Gold Shield Foundation, which assists families of first responders killed in the line of duty.At a luncheon Thursday, Bondi received the Philip A. McNiff "Lifetime of Service" award, named...
Published: 12/08/17
Local vets remember Pearl Harbor

Local vets remember Pearl Harbor

TAMPA — On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, Ed Socha and Bill Monfort were several hundred miles away from each other, sharing a horrible moment of reckoning.Socha, 96, was at Pearl Harbor, aboard the USS Oklahoma. Bill Monfort was a radio operator aboar...
Published: 12/07/17

Talking subs, ships and the controversial F-35 with the Navy’s newest assistant secretary

TAMPA — James "Hondo" Geurts, a familiar face at MacDill Air Force Base, was sworn in as the Navy’s newest assistant secretary last week ."I’ll be responsible for acquisition for the Navy and Marine Corps," said Geurts, sitting in a chair on the brid...
Published: 12/07/17
A storage unit opened, and a family’s World War II service and secrets were revealed

A storage unit opened, and a family’s World War II service and secrets were revealed

MESA, Ariz. — The storage unit’s corrugated metal door slid upward, revealing 100 square feet of mostly empty space. Not very promising, thought Joe Alosi, a businessman who bid on units, sight unseen, when tenants stopped paying the rent. Several pl...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/08/17
Navy’s newest assistant secretary talks ships, subs and jet fighters

Navy’s newest assistant secretary talks ships, subs and jet fighters

TAMPA — Saturday afternoon, just three days before his swearing in as the next Navy assistant secretary for acquisition, research and development, James "Hondo’ Geurts talked about how his old job prepared him for the new one."I’ll be responsible for...
Published: 12/05/17
Stealth jets, other aircraft fly in U.S., South Korean drills

Stealth jets, other aircraft fly in U.S., South Korean drills

Associated PressSEOUL, South Korea — Hundreds of aircraft including two dozen stealth jets began training Monday as the United States and South Korea launched a massive combined air force exercise. The war games come a week after North Korea test-fir...
Published: 12/04/17

Altman: County’s Veterans Park to commemorate Pearl Harbor with memorial, new center

Every year, Americans pay homage to those killed on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.This year, in Hillsborough County, the commemorations will take on additional meaning.Hillsborough County and local veterans welcome two major a...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/04/17