910.455.9840 jaxarts@jaxarts.com

Creative Forces Open Studio Sessions

Wednesdays from 5-9 p.m.

The Jacksonville-Onslow Council for the Arts hosts free, weekly art studio time for active duty and veteran military service members. No prior art experience, equipment or commitment required. Just drop in and meet other service members who enjoy the arts in a relaxed, social and creative environment. Each session is led by a local artist/mentor who has experience working with service members. Bring your own artwork or learn new skills/techniques and collaborate on group projects.

Google Maps Link

Frequently Asked Questions:


Is this free to attend?

Yes, this is absolutely free.

Do I have to attend every session? 

Nope. Join the sessions when you’re able!

Can I bring food or a beverage?

Sure! Bring your dinner along with you or visit the convenience store next door to purchase snacks or something to drink. We only ask that your beverage of choice be of the non-alcoholic variety.

Can my loved one(s) come with me?

Yes, they can. Everyone from supervised children, spouses, to significant others or partners are welcome! Just like you, they can participate free of charge. They can bring their own art project to work on or use the supplies we have.

I’m not an artist. Can I still attend?

YES! There are no tests to take and our open studio time is judgment-free. Each session is facilitated by an artist-in-residence to help answer any questions or offer guidance when requested.

Noah White, Executive Director Jax-Onslow CFTANoah White, Executive Director of the Council for the Arts, is also the liaison for our Creative Forces community program. If you have any questions, please contact him at (910) 455-9840 or email him at jaxarts@jaxarts.com.

Anna K. Pasquale is the artist in residence. A mixed-media artist with almost 10 years of experience in a variety of media, Anna has facilitated both online and in-person art classes. She is married to a USMC veteran and they have two sons. Find out more about her here.

Creative Forces in the Media

What is Creative Forces?

Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network serves the unique and special needs of military patients and veterans who have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health conditions, as well as their families and caregivers.

Made possible by a unique collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, and state arts agencies, Creative Forces is a network of caring people who believe in the transformative and restorative powers of art.

We are creative arts therapists, musicians, painters, potters, writers, woodworkers, dancers and doctors, military service members and veterans, community leaders and policymakers. Some of us work on military bases. Some of us work at hospitals. Some of us work at community art centers.

All of us have the same mission: To help military personnel and veterans return to their homes, their missions and their families whole, mentally fit and emotionally ready for whatever comes next. – source

Why do we need Creative Forces?

“North Carolina has one of the largest military populations in the U.S., and the N.C. Arts Council has long supported arts programming for our service members, veterans, and military families.

The arts provide important support for the unique needs of service men and women, veterans and their families, according to research from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For military audiences, engaging in arts activities:

  • Enhances healing and provides essential health benefits at every stage from recovery to wellness.
  • Strengthens a sense of self, and creates opportunities to tell one’s story through many disciplines.
  • Builds a connection with the community and diminishes feelings of isolation.”

* The above is quoted from the North Carolina Arts Council website.

Compartmentalized: A Study on Trauma & Stereotypes by Michaela Dahlke

The Creative Forces Arts and Military Conference

On March 9 & 10, 2018, The Creative Forces Arts and Military Conference was hosted by the Jacksonville-Onslow Council for the Arts,Coastal Carolina Community CollegeCamp Lejeune, and the North Carolina Arts Council. The focus of the conference was to “learn and discuss strategies to increase access to arts activities for military personnel, veterans, and their families, both on post and in [our] community” (quote source).

Media Coverage of the Event:


Officials Work to Bring Healing Power of Arts to Veterans in Jacksonville


Veterans and Active Duty Personnel Discover the Healing Power of Art


Military Men Saved by Art


NC Arts Council Twitter Thread about Creative Forces Military Healing Arts Conference