Saturday, October 28, 2017
Americans for the Arts was also pleased to host a breakfast panel on the Creative Forces Initiative for NCSL’s Labor and Economic Development Committee and its Military and Veterans Affairs Task Force. Americans for the Arts is one of several organizations that NCSL invites to present panel discussions at NCSL conferences. Americans for the Arts is pleased to continue its work with the Military and Veterans Affairs Task Force.
Americans for the Arts Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs started the panel by giving an overview of the work being done around arts in health care for our veterans and military personnel. He then turned the panel over to Marine Sargent Benjamin Tourtelot (Ret.) assisted by clinical music therapist Rebecca Vaudreuil. They discussed how music therapy aided in his recovery, but also, as he states, “saved his life.” Sargent Tourtelot, after serving two tours of duty in Afghanistan, was stationed in Hawaii where he trained Marines who were going to be deploying. During a helicopter repelling training exercise, Sargent Tourtelot fell 110 feet onto concrete landing head first. After months of surgeries and physical therapy, his body, while healing, was in tremendous pain. He stated that he would pray for death almost daily. Then, he discovered music therapy which he credits as opening up his mind and body. He now sings and has produced two CDs.
Finishing the panel on behalf of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), Dr. Deborah Good, ATR-BC discussed the science of arts therapy, and the need for licensure for arts therapists in the 50 states.
Photo: Arkansas State Senator Joyce Elliott with Americans for the Arts’ Jay Dick at a general lunch session at NCSL.
Photo: Panel Speakers: Marine Sargent Benjamin Tourtelot (Ret.) and clinical music therapist Rebecca Vaudreuil.