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Lynn Estomin, professor of digital art and design at Lycoming College, received a $10,000 Winning Victories Grant for her project proposal on behalf of Warrior Writers, an organization that uses art and poetry to help veterans heal from the trauma of war.
The grant will fund a series of creative writing and digital storytelling workshops for veterans, and production of a DVD of Warrior Writers performances filmed at the Dodge Poetry Festival and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Made possible by Matthew Morgan, Antioch Trustee, and the Morgan Foundation, the Winning Victories Grant is part of a new program provided by Antioch College designed to support alumni initiatives that impact public good and quality of life.
Estomin’s work with Warrior Writers aims to address the needs of veterans who feel isolated and need more opportunities to publicly share their stories. “I have been working with an amazing group of young veterans for over ten years,” said Estomin. “Warrior Writers uses creative writing and art to support, inspire, and help veterans heal from the trauma of war. Standard PTSD treatment relies primarily on prescribing drugs. Building community and providing a safe space for veterans to create and unpack their war experiences changes lives.”
The program has worked with over 5,500 veterans and families to provide a community with shared experiences, and to feature the voices of veterans that are not often present in the mainstream media.
“It’s so important for veterans to publicly share their stories and perspectives,” explained Estomin. “Warrior Writers creates a cultural bridge connecting public audiences to veterans as they articulate, in their own artistic voice, their military experiences. This connection helps the public gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of soldiers’ lives during and after military service and to learn more about the wars in which our government is engaged.”
Warrior Writers will offer creative writing and art-making workshops on Sept. 7 at The Gallery at Penn College, as part of a full day of workshops for veterans in conjunction with the “Mindful” exhibition. The two writing workshops will take place at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., and the art workshop will take place at 9 a.m. on the 3rd floor of Madigan Library at the Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Estomin is a videographer, photographer and interactive media artist whose own art focuses on social issues. Her award-winning video documentaries have been broadcast nationally on PBS and exhibited internationally at over 175 film festivals. Her newest documentary, “Living in the Story” will screen at the Film Festival of Columbus in Columbus, Ohio, on Aug. 8 and at the Benicia Film Festival in Benicia, Calif., on Sept. 2.