USAG Italy reaches for the arts during COVID-19 | Item











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VICENZA, Italy – Michelle Sterkowicz, US Army Garrison Art Center Program Manager in Italy, (left) and Aurora Venden, American Red Cross Acting Regional Program Manager, deliver kits individual “ Resilience through Art ” at several locations in Caserma Ederle, May 5, 2021.
The Art Center worked in partnership with volunteers and organizations to deliver around 700 kits to help discover the benefits of art during COVID-19.
(Photo credit: Laura Kreider)


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VICENZA, Italy - Sgt.  Deron Thompson, Behavioral Health Specialist at US Army Health Center, Vicenza, receives individual 'Resiliency through Art' kits on May 5, 2021, by Michelle Sterkowicz, US Army Garrison Italy Art Center Program Manager (right) and Aurora Venden, American Red Interim Regional Program Manager.  The Art Center worked in partnership with volunteers and organizations to deliver around 700 kits to help discover the benefits of art during COVID-19.








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VICENZA, Italy – Sgt. Deron Thompson, Behavioral Health Specialist at US Army Health Center, Vicenza, receives individual ‘Resiliency through Art’ kits on May 5, 2021, by Michelle Sterkowicz, US Army Garrison Italy Art Center Program Manager (right) and Aurora Venden, American Red Interim Regional Program Manager.
The Art Center worked in partnership with volunteers and organizations to deliver around 700 kits to help discover the benefits of art during COVID-19.
(Photo credit: Laura Kreider)


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VICENZA, Italy - Michelle Sterkowicz, US Army Garrison Art Center Program Manager in Italy (left) and Vicenza Community Club representative Christine Swanson deliver individual `` Resiliency through Art '' kits to the Caserma Ederle quarantine barracks in building 180 on May 5, 2021. VCC funded 480 of these kits, while the Wounded Warrior Project - with help from the Red Cross at the post - funded 120 for the Center Army Medical Center in Vicenza.  “Through our partnership, the VCC was able to ensure that the art center had the means to expand an existing program and make it accessible to those looking for a creative outlet for self-expression,” said Swanson. .








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VICENZA, Italy – Michelle Sterkowicz, US Army Garrison Art Center Program Manager in Italy, (left) and Vicenza Community Club representative Christine Swanson deliver individual Resilience Through Art kits at the Caserma Ederle quarantine barracks in building 180 on May 5, 2021.
VCC funded 480 of these kits, while the Wounded Warrior Project – with help from the Post’s Red Cross – funded 120 for the US Army Health Center in Vicenza.
“Through our partnership, the VCC was able to ensure that the art center had the means to expand an existing program and make it accessible to those looking for a creative outlet for self-expression,” said Swanson. .
(Photo credit: Laura Kreider)


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VICENZA, Italy – When Michelle Sterkowicz delivers art kits to soldiers in the US Army garrison in Italy, she often sees them coming to the art center to say thank you for the supplies.

Sterkowicz, the art centre’s program manager, said a soldier forgot how much he loved to draw. She has worked in partnership with volunteers and organizations to help discover the benefits of art during COVID-19. They created “Resiliency Through Art” quarantine kits for community members.

“We are very happy to have been able to help during this difficult time,” she said. “We hope people won’t forget to keep in touch with their creative side.”

So far, they have distributed 700 art kits. They include paint, colored pencils, plasticine, wire, and coloring sheets. They took them to the soldiers at the Caserma Ederle quarantine barracks and to the families who stayed at the family accommodation of the Villaggio army. Others went to the troops at the US Army Health Center-Vicenza.

According to the World Health Organization, the pandemic has caused changes in the activities, routines or usual occupations of many people, as well as in their ways of coping, especially during quarantine and its effects.

Lisa Andreucci, a USAHC-V certified clinical social worker, said the program can benefit community members.

“The art centre’s response to the lockdown is innovative,” Andreucci said. “It’s a way to reach soldiers and families in their homes and give them the opportunity to express themselves and find something available during a time of unprecedented isolation.”

Being new and in quarantine, alone or with family, can be difficult, Sterkowicz said. Resilience Through Art, a program she leads, shows how art can help be a healing tool, something that can benefit newcomers arriving in the midst of the pandemic.

Facilities Management Command-Europe helped fund the first one hundred official individual art kits which were delivered to several locations, including local homes and barracks where community members were subject to “restriction of movement,” a COVID-19 mitigation effort. The Vicenza Community Club, the Wounded Warrior Project, and the American Red Cross were partners in this effort.

“Through our partnership, the VCC was able to ensure that the art center had the means to expand an existing program and make it accessible to those looking for a creative outlet for self-expression,” said Christine. Swanson, a representative of the VCC.

Sean Morton, garrison director for Family and Moral, Welfare and Recreation, said the art project was just one of the ways his team is supporting members of the military community in Vicenza and Livorno.

“The FMWR is committed to providing soldiers, their families and civilians with coping mechanisms when facing stressful situations through creative programs and services,” said Morton.


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About Joaquin Robertson

Joaquin Robertson

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