Creative Discoveries Studio is a military therapeutic art program at the Jacksonville-Onslow Council for the Arts.
Service members (active, veteran, reservists, guardsmen) from all military branches, their loved ones, and caregivers are welcome to the free, weekly open studio sessions at the Council for the Arts in downtown Jacksonville, NC.
Participants can choose to bring their own creative supplies and projects to work on during the sessions or create with the supplies we have in the studio. No prior art experience, equipment, or commitment required. Each session is led by our resident artist who is there to answer questions, help locate supplies, and offer creative advice when asked.
Come anytime on Wednesdays from 5-9 p.m. and create in a relaxed, social and creative environment!
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What does "therapeutic arts program" mean?
We’re so glad you asked!
To be clear, this isn’t art therapy and our resident artist isn’t an art therapist.
We don’t use art-making to help you attain individual therapeutic goals as an art therapist would.
Our program offers our military and military-connected members the resources to offer themselves the benefits of art-making in a fun and encouraging community.
Those benefits could be:
- improving artistic ability
- lower cortisol levels (stress hormone)
- making community connections
- creative thinking and problem solving
- building confidence
Also? It’s just plain FUN!
**We do partner with Creative Arts Therapists from Intrepid Spirit Concussion Recovery Center aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. They refer patients to our program and offer us insight for creating programming that’s tailored for our military community.
Do I have to have a diagnosis of TBI or PTS / PTSD to be a part of this?
Nope! This is open for all of our military and military-connected community.
We don’t require any diagnosis or even paperwork to gain access to our program.
Who can be a part of this?
Active duty service members, veterans, reservists, and guardsmen from any military branch are welcome to join!
Service member loved ones and caregivers, you’re included, too! Spouses, partners, significant others, children, stepchildren, or any relative are welcome to join.
Ex-spouse or Ex-partner? You’re welcome, too!
Does my military sponsor have to attend with me?
Nope! Loved ones and caregivers are welcome to attend without their military connection(s).
Yep! Kids are welcome to attend with their parent, guardian, or caregiver.
We have creative options for kids to choose from and supplies that are okay for them to use. Our resident artist is on hand to help you find supplies for them and answer questions you may have!
Do I have to be there the whole time?
Whether you stay for 30 minutes or the entire 4-hour session, is your choice!
Join us when you can for as long as you’re able.
No matter how long you’re there, we are simply thankful you’ve chosen to offer yourself the benefits of art-making.
I'm not very social. Is that okay?
Listen. We get that sometimes folks aren’t very social for a ton of reasons.
If you are willing to share time and space with us, we’ll respect your need to quietly hang out in a corner with your earbuds in.
(Our resident artist will greet you and then occasionally check on you to make sure you’re good, though!)
I can't draw a straight line with a ruler. Can I still join?
You most certainly can! Perfection isn’t the aim here, creativity is. Come as you are, no matter your artistic skill level, and you will find a welcoming and accepting space where you can create at your own pace.
What do I need to participate?
You are welcome to bring your own creative supplies and/or use what we have here at the studio.
Not sure what to use or what to make? We got you!
Our resident artist is there to help you figure out supplies and what to make.
Do I have to be in any pictures or recordings?
No photos, no problem!
When we do need to take photos or video we are upfront about it and make sure everyone knows what’s happening. We take photos or short videos in the sessions as a way of documenting the good impact this program and our members are making. All photos or videos are always taken and shared with permission.
Don’t want your face in a photo or video? No worries! We can make sure to only include your hands and/or creation in the photo or video. You are also highly encouraged to take your own videos or photos of yourself or your creations and share them with our resident artist.
Do you offer workshops?
When we are able, we do offer optional workshops. In the past, we’ve had basic pottery, acrylic pouring, wood-burning, theatre, printmaking, and writing workshops. Sign up for our newsletter to be in the know about info on workshops and more!
How can I contact you?
Have a question that we haven’t answered here?
Would you like to come in and view the studio space in the Council for the Arts before you attend?
Then head over to our contact page! In addition to our contact info, you will find the Council’s hours of operation and address.
Who’s in the studio?
These are the faces you might see in both the virtual and in-person open studio spaces.
Executive Director, Council for the Arts
Creative Discoveries Studio Resident Artist
Creative Discoveries Studio Volunteer
Creative Forces Art Therapist at Intrepid Spirit
Creative Forces Music Therapist at Intrepid Spirit
Find Creative Discoveries Studio on Social Media