Only 36 hours to go! Any last amount helps. We can't wait to start getting these rewards out to all of our generous backers...
We made it! Amazing! Thank you to everyone. We are so extremely grateful for all of the support. Let's keep going! We raised almost $4,000 in the last week. We have 8 days to go...We can reach $20,000!
We need to reach veterans by traveling all over New Jersey and coming face to face with our own. One of our goals is to purchase a decommissioned military ambulance, outfit it with mobile papermaking and printmaking capabilities and, in addition to our Sunday community, make Combat Paper a traveling program.
18 veterans take their lives daily and isolation is a huge contributing factor. We can bring our Combat Paper community and safe gathering space to them, where they can begin to talk with the only people who understand them - other vets.
If you haven't supported yet, maybe reading last Sunday's Star Ledger article will help!
Let's blow the roof off of our goal of $15,000. Help us reach our other goals of making this a traveling program. Let's keep going...Let's bridge the gap.
COMBAT PAPER PROGRAM
It’s a fact: Art is a powerful tool for healing. Every day, in every community throughout the country tens of thousands of young men and women are returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. A sobering statistic published in the National Journal in December, 2011 indicates that 18 young American veterans commit suicide each day. Thousands more find themselves unable to resume the daily activities of their lives before deployment. In any given community, young veterans are struggling with the residual effects of their combat experience.
Combat Paper is a veteran-led program that uses art as a tool to heal. First and foremost, Combat Paper provides a safe and comfortable place where veterans can come together to talk every Sunday. This weekly drop-in session held at a local arts center, uses the ancient art of handmade papermaking to help veterans heal from the physical, psychological and emotional effects of war. Participation is free to all veterans and no registration is necessary. The handmade paper is made out of old combat fatigues. Some vets use their own fatigues and others use uniforms donated by community members. The uniforms are cut into small pieces and beaten into pulp using the art center’s papermaking equipment.
Taking combat fatigues that literally hold the very worst memories of a young veteran’s life and turning them into handmade paper can be emotional, transformative and healing. In subsequent Sunday sessions vets add drawings, photographs or iconic images to their paper using silkscreen and other printmaking techniques that they are taught. Writing about painful experiences and translating emotions into words is another important aspect of Combat Paper. Vets are encouraged to write in their free time and add the text to their paper art using the the art center’s letterpress equipment. Some vets choose to turn their handmade paper into blank journals and write prose and poetry directly onto their ‘combat’ paper. Each finished work of art tells a profoundly personal story and serves as a sort of "conversation starter" that helps vets begin to talk with family and friends about their military service.
Deconstructing a uniform while talking with other veterans breaks the cycle of isolation. We deconstruct our past by cutting up our military uniforms, reclaim our experiences by making paper from these uniforms, and communicate our experiences by printing images and writing our words onto Combat Paper. The telling of our stories transforms us and gives us confidence to bridge the gap that keeps us separate and apart from the rest of American society.
Your funding support will be used to:
$6,500 to purchase a new paper beater (our beater is ancient and can’t beat the uniform fibers)
$450 to purchase moulds and deckles (the screens that pull the pulp out of the water)
$800 to purchase misc. supplies (pellons, inks, vats, mesh liners, strainers, buckets, etc.)
$7,250 to support veteran staff for 2012
Veterans don’t want to become society’s burden. We want to transition smoothly into civilian life, but the burdens of our unresolved combat experiences are often too much for us to bear. Art has the remarkable capacity to heal and transform an individual.
Combat Paper is healing one veteran and one uniform at a time. We need help funding this worthy program. We’re turning to those out there that can believe in our program. We very much appreciate your time and generosity. This truly is an amazing program and will change the life of every veteran that walks through our doors.
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- (30 days)