MADE FOR YOU
expressive arts workshops
Made For You expressive arts workshops offer a series of mindfulness and creative arts activities in a workshop format in order to create an environment for veteran spouses to speak from the heart about their journeys.
This portion of the project developed as a result of a friendship formed by two military spouse neighbors on Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska. Wendy Caldwell, an expressive arts facilitator, moved in next door to Amy Uptgraft, the playwright of I Will Wait. The two had many talks over coffee and over time shared their backgrounds, dreams, and stories. They realized that pairing the I Will Wait production with a creative workshop could provide a space for spouses to create, connect, and share their responses to the production. Wendy and Amy found that small workshops they held after their early productions provided an amazing opportunity for these spouses to explore their own experiences through creativity while tending to their self-care and fostering further emotional well-being, just as Amy had done for herself by writing the play and sharing it with all of us.
Expressive arts distinguishes itself from other creative arts approaches, which use dance, music, or art therapy as a sole modality to achieve results. The expressive arts process is the deliberate integration of mindfulness, movement, art, music, and creative writing, where each modality is experienced in sequence and therefore informs and compounds the subsequent exercises. The overall result is a deep dive into one’s inner world, because this mindful and sequential approach allows one to more easily access their emotions than just talking about their feelings. This approach is being used in many clinical therapy practices and personal growth programs. VSP's expressive arts workshops are not therapy, but can have a therapeutic effect and promote emotional well-being through creativity.
Made For You is currently offered as a complement to the production I Will Wait, but is also being piloted at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson as a standalone workshop series focusing on self-care.
Our workshops are facilitated by Wendy Caldwell, a military spouse and expressive arts facilitator trained through the Person-Centered Expressive Arts Therapy Institute founded by Natalie Rogers. The Person-Centered approach emphasizes qualities of empathy, openness, honesty, and congruence as the fundamental basis for the relationships and creating safety in a group. Wendy will be your guide, but you will be your own boss, totally in charge of what you want to explore and what materials you’ll use to do that. The Person-Centered approach is about empowerment and insight, and is the perfect way to foster well-being for veteran’s spouses. Your choices, your creations, your stories. It is Made For You!