910.455.9840 jaxarts@jaxarts.com

Every Wednesday, 5-9 p.m.

Creative Forces Open Studio

Our sessions have paused.

Our community hasn’t!


Creative Forces Open Studio in-person sessions hosted at the Jacksonville-Onslow Council for the Arts are temporarily closed.

We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and, should anything change, we will be sure to update you here.


In the meantime, please go to our Creative Forces Virtual Open Studio group on Facebook!

There you will find:

> Weekly Creative Prompts & Live Streamed Art Demos

> Links to Creative Resources

> A place to Share your Creations (if you’d like)

and more!


If you are not on Facebook, please sign up to get our weekly prompts delivered to your inbox! If you create and share on social media, please use hashtag #CreativeForcesCFTA. 


What We Do

The Jacksonville-Onslow Council for the Arts hosts free, weekly art studio time for service members, veterans, and their loved ones. No prior art experience, equipment or commitment required. Come anytime on Wednesdays from 5-9 p.m. and create in a relaxed, social and creative environment. Each session is led by a local artist/mentor who has experience working with service members and their loved ones. Bring your own artwork or create with our supplies and learn new skills/techniques or collaborate on group projects.

Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and the state and local arts agencies. This initiative serves the special needs of military patients and veterans with traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions, as well as their families and caregivers. Administrative support for the initiative is provided by Americans for the Arts.


Do I have to stay for the entire open studio session?

Nope! You are welcome to participate no matter what length of time you're able to stay.

What military connection is needed for me to attend?

Spouses, partners, significant others, stepchildren, or any relative are welcome to attend. Ex-spouse or Ex-partner? You're welcome, too.

Does my service member connection have to attend with me?

Of course not. Loved ones are welcome to attend without their military connection(s).

Do I have to be in any pictures?

No photos, no problem! We take photos in the sessions as a way of documenting the good impact this program and our members are making, but they are always taken and shared with permission. For those members who are uncomfortable with their faces being in photos, we offer the alternatives of taking photos of their hands working or of their finished creations. If they still aren't comfortable with that, we honor their request for no photos.

Can I bring snacks?

Yes! Snacks - or even dinner - are acceptable and encouraged! Bring your own or walk next door to the Speedway to grab something to munch on and drink. We only ask that your beverage of choice be of the non-alcoholic variety.

I can't draw a straight line with a ruler. Can I still attend?

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.

Do you offer workshops?

We do work with area artists to bring optional workshops within the open studio sessions. In the past, we've had basic pottery, acrylic pouring, wood burning, theater, and writing workshops. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to find out when we're having more!

Join the Story

Yes, YOU have a part in our story! Every military service member and their loved ones understand the importance of strong, reliable support and that’s where you come in. When you become an advocate for Creative Forces Open Studio, you’re visibly supporting both our local military community and the arts.

Become a part of the story because:

  • You will help keep a vital and accessible program available to our local service members, veterans, and their loved ones
  • We will have a happier, healthier community from children to adults
  • You will have a hand in helping a community of children learn better in school because they have access to a creative outlet and avenue of support
  • You will encourage military families to settle here because they feel supported, thereby ensuring our local economy thrives
  • You will have a part in potentially lowering the instances within our military community of:
  • self-harm
    • suicide
    • domestic conflict
    • opioid use
    • and more…

We ALL win when you support the Creative Forces Open Studio.

Here are three simple ways to show your support:
> Share about our program
> Make a donation
> Purchase supplies from our Amazon Wishlist

In the Studio

A glimpse into the Open Studio

Acrylic Pour Workshop

Charlett Akerman exploring acrylic pouring taught by Creative Forces member, Lorraine Massey.

Basic Clay Workshop

Creative Forces Open Studio members enjoying learning basic clay techniques from potter Becky LaPadula of Dogwood Pottery.

Creative Exploration

Anna Owens enjoying exploring watercolor techniques.

Member Creations

Illustration by Robert “Shrek” Harrell in ink and watercolor.

Member Creations

Found poetry on a painted background by military spouse, Nicki Padilla.

Working with the NC Arts Council

Member Bugsy Ackerson chatting with NC Arts Council’s Director of Operations & Arts Learning, Vicki Vitiello, at a recent site visit.

Who We Are

Noah White

Noah White

Creative Forces Liaison & Council for the Arts Executive Director

Noah has had a lifelong love of the Arts in all forms and has always longed for a career to utilize his combined skills in art, accounting, and community service. He believes It will take teamwork to achieve success because the Council belongs to the community! Noah has an open door policy and looks forward to input from the artists, our members, our Board of Directors, and the community at large to determine the best course of action to reach a successful outcome of building community through cultural arts.

For any who may be interested in connecting with Creative Forces please reach out via email at jaxarts@jaxarts.com.

Anna K. Pasquale

Anna K. Pasquale

Creative Forces Resident Artist

Anna K. Pasquale is a self-taught mixed-media artist and writer with a decade of experience in creating art and facilitating classes both in person and online. Her artwork ranges from figurative to abstract in mediums that can include acrylic paint, paper clay and, more recently, embroidery and pyrography. Nothing makes her happier as an artist than finding an intriguing combination of media and/or techniques to tell stories unless it’s helping other artists do the same in their own creations. As the Resident Artist for the Creative Forces Open Studio sessions hosted by the Jacksonville-Onslow Council for the Arts, she is able, and fortunate, to do this on a weekly basis.


Stay connected and share in our story!


826 New Bridge St. Jacksonville, NC 28540
(910) 455-9840

Open Hours

Tuesday - Friday: 10am – 5pm
Weekends & Holidays: Closed