Monday, May 9, 2011

PROJECT ECHO - a social sustainability project for veterans

I'm a little behind on The Green Elephant this week due to the start of another exciting human sustainability project:

Project Echo - Building strength and identity for veterans to resonate self-recovery through expressive art and community support.

Project Echo is a community art project designed to help at-risk veterans. Our primary mission is to provide expressive art education combined with job skill development to help veteran build strength and identity. It is about the pride and purpose of being a veteran and engaging the community in creative ways. Through this, we hope to help at-risk veterans develop a deeper understanding of their own emotions and establish a constructive dialogue with their communities.

by Mark A. Smith
Project Echo is founded by myself and my old Army buddy, Mark Smith. We served as medics in war and we believe in the strength of expressive art and the power of community dialogue to help our fellow veterans. The project started as a conversation when we began our civilian lives. We noticed many others like us - desperately trying to find an echo by our artistic voices. We recognized the value in this desire and we want to share what we have learned about reconstructing ourselves emotionally and connect with our communities by expressing in art what could not have been said. Art was the only way we knew how to relate to a world that became so distant after war; and art seemed the perfect thing to bridge the gaps of understanding between veterans and their communities.

So we decided to turn our conversation into action and help at-risk veterans through expressive art. We want others to have our good fortune of discovering this powerful self-healing tool and we want to help others develop coping skills by engaging in an expressive art dialogue with their communities.

The Green Elephant will continue to document this project in its entirety.  

Stay tuned. 

For more information or if you have a suggestion, please email

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