VA Central Ohio Healthcare System
Using animation, film, and podcasting, students collaborate with Veterans
to tell their stories about the healing power of art-making.
"Think about the world 'destroy.' Do you know what it is? De-story. Destory. Destory. You see. And 'restore.' That's re-story. Do you know that only two things have been proven to help survivors of the Holocaust? Message is one. Telling their story is another. Being touched and touching. Telling your story is touching. It sets you free."
- Francesca Lia Block
Feature Length Film
Re-Story: Transforming Veteran Stories into Art feature length film, 2020 [48 minutes]
During the four-month long partnership, 28 CCAD students from four classes in documentary video, podcasting, and animation were paired with 21 VAI participants to share Veterans’ stories and explore how their creative efforts as artists have helped them to process their individual military experiences. Before working with the Veterans, students received training from VAI Program Coordinator Heather Seymour and VA Patient Advocate Tyler Strine on empathic listening and military culture, ethics, and privacy. The overall project, dubbed “Re-story,” gave Veterans an opportunity to retell or “re-story” aspects of their lives both in and out of the military and reflect on how making art transforms these narratives. In addition, Veterans’ poems from the VAI poetry workshops at the Franklin County Correction Center were used to create short animations. The Veterans were consulted throughout the project and received a copy of their stories.
The short films, excerpted podcasts, and animations were combined and edited to make a 45-minute documentary film by a CCAD alum. Re-story: Transforming Veteran Stories into Art kicked off the National Veterans Film Festival Presents series on Nov. 13–15, 2020 during National Veterans and Military Families Month. The premiere of the film was followed by a panel discussion with several CCAD faculty and students, as well as Veterans and VA staff. Viewers around the country tuned in virtually to watch the film premiere. The film was awarded two Silver 2021 Telly Awards, which honor excellence in video and television across all screens.
"Re-story allowed a unique space for intergenerational dialogue that bridges the racial, gender, and socioeconomic divides through the commonality of making art. We started with a question, 'How can collaborative creative storytelling connect Veterans and civilians across generations?' The answers are in the works themselves. The common thread is that no life experiences define us, we are all dynamic. We all want to be heard, understood, and this platform of storytelling is essential in a digital world."
- Heather Seymour
VA Central Ohio Healthcare System Director of Whole Health Community Partnerships and
Communications, and Founder of the Veteran Arts Initiative
On My Terms: The Life and
Artistry of Leni D. Anderson
Directed by Madison Van Buren featuring Veteran Leni D. Anderson, U.S. Army.
Without a Scratch:
The William Rogers Story
Directed by Luke McLaughlin featuring Veteran William Rogers, U.S. Army.
Directed by Austin Black featuring Veterans Armond Goss (U.S. Air Force), Hannah
Rodas (U.S. Air Force), and Veronica Shields (U.S. Army).
The Spiritual Revolution
of Stephen D. Napper
Directed by Janelle Moorman and Bethany Mercer featuring Veteran Stephen D. Napper,
U.S. Army, National Guard.
Portrait of Mary Skrenta
Directed by Alyssa Morris featuring Veteran Mary Skrenta, U.S. Army.
Animation by Troy Belko. "A Reason to Fight" A poem by Veteran Stephen Yarger, U.S. Army.
Podcast by Maddison Wilson and Sarah Seymour, Motion Graphics by Samuel Koh,
featuring Veteran Marion Risberg, U.S. Marine Corps.
Podcast by Aaron Bell, Motion Graphics by Samuel Koh, featuring Veteran Bernie Pontones, U.S. Army.
Podcast by Alexa Buck, Motion Graphics by Samuel Koh, featuring Veteran Patrick Paquin,
U.S. Navy, U.S. Navy Reserves, U.S. Air Force Reserves.
Podcast by Daniel Prendergast, Motion Graphics by Samuel Koh, featuring Veteran Stanley Vivens, U.S. Army.
Podcast by Taylor Scalzo and Kenneth Tyree, Motion Graphics by Samuel Koh featuring Veteran Greg West, U.S. Army.
Podcast by Fredi Bockover, Motion Graphics by Samuel Koh featuring Veteran
Stephen Yarger, U.S. Army.
Animation by Aspyn Chisesi featuring Veteran William Rogers, U.S. Army.
Animation by Amanda LaRocco. "The Mask We Wear" A poem by Veteran Daniel Middleton,
U.S. Marine Corps.
"...It was fascinating to see art students and Veterans bond over a shared love for creativity, and use it as an icebreaker in understanding the impact of the military experience. I hope by sharing their stories that others will feel that bond, too."
- Jordan Bell
Adjunct Faculty, Podcasting
Assistant Director of Career Services
Podcast by Aaron Bell featuring Veteran Bernie Pontones, U.S. Army.
Podcast by Maddison Wilson and Sarah Seymour featuring Veteran Marion Risberg, U.S. Marine Corps
Podcast by Alexa Buck featuring Veteran Patrick Paquin, U.S. Navy, U.S. Navy Reserves, U.S. Air Force Reserves.
Podcast by Daniel Prendergast featuring Veteran Stanley Vivens, U.S. Army.
Podcast by Taylor Scalzo featuring Veteran Greg West, U.S. Army.
Podcast by Kenneth Tyree featuring Veteran Greg West, U.S. Army.
Podcast by Madison Perry featuring Veteran Greg West, U.S. Army.
Podcast by Fredi Bockover featuring Veteran Stephen Yarger, U.S. Army.
Podcast by Daniela Hernandez featuring Veteran Armond Goss, U.S. Air Force.
Podcast by Kat Wampler featuring Veteran Armond Goss, U.S. Air Force.
Podcast by Dylan McBride featuring Veteran Bobby James, U.S. Air Force.
Podcast by Antonio Sais featuring Veteran Andrew Lisko, U.S. Army.
The Columbus Dispatch: New CCAD, central Ohio VA documentary explores the veteran experience through power of art
Spectrum News 1: Documentary Explores Healing Power of Art for Veterans
Columbus Underground: Documentary Highlights Local Veterans’ Relationships with Art
Experience Columbus: Veterans Day in Columbus
VAntage Point: Transforming Veteran stories into art
Defense Logistics Agency: Where to Watch 2020 Veterans Day Virtual Tributes
The Johnsonian: The Art of War
"As I listen to my interview with Professor Lisko, I am constantly humbled by the way he speaks of his life, and the impact World War II had on him. He is truly an amazing person who has made me look at life from a whole different perspective. Professor Lisko's story reminds me that no matter how bad things get, the world will be okay."
- Antonio Sais
Advertising & Graphic Design, 2021