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Columbia College Chicago

VetCAT Receives Grants to Begin in July

June 26, 2012

The Veterans Creative Arts Therapy (VetCAT) program was recently awarded grants to start a six-week pilot beginning July 13.

The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust awarded $15,000, and the Leo S. Guthman Fund awarded $30,000.

VetCAT is a first-of-its-kind program offering creative arts therapy—including dance, movement, art, and creative writing therapies—to US veterans and active service members. It also provides free wellness and mental health services, including post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, traumatic brain injury, and other issues returning veterans face. The program will be offered at the School of the Art Institute Chicago (SAIC).

VetCAT is a collaborative effort among Columbia College Chicago, the Albany Park Community Center, the SAIC, Jesse Brown VA, and the National Veterans Art Museum, among others. The Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling (DMTC) department at Columbia collaborated with the Art Therapy Program at SAIC for about four years to develop this program. Susan Imus, chair of the DMTC, was involved in the original development of the program, along with veteran and active reservist Marc Fisher and SAIC associate professor Cathy Moon.

Columbia has been a part of the development and implementation and will continue to support the program as part of the advisory committee, with Imus and DMTC adjunct faculty member Laura Downey acting as consultants on the committee.

VetCAT is the first community program collaboration between Columbia College Chicago and the SAIC.