The Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP) is a creative community where veterans thrive through the arts, by providing free art and comedy classes to veterans, service members, military spouses, family members, and caregivers.

ASAP recently announced the exciting news that they have become an official Social Impact partner of The Kennedy Center, which will bring new, extremely exciting opportunities for military-connected individuals to thrive through the arts. Recently, ASAP produced a Millennium Stage storytelling and comedy performance at The Kennedy Center for an audience of 250 members in person, and another 1,500 viewers via live stream.

In collaboration with Broadway productions of The Lion King and Les Misérables coming to The Kennedy Center this summer, vocal and acting workshops will also be available for the ASAP community.

AMSG is a proud supporter of ASAP, whose mission is improving veteran well-being through the arts. AMSG’s President and CEO, Jim O’Farrell, also serves as the vice chair of the ASAP Board of Directors.

Brian Jenkins, ASAP Executive Director, said, “This year, AMSG’s contributions will impact the lives of more than 700 veterans and family members. Through ASAP, veterans are digging into their personal experiences, building their confidence, gaining new skills, and finding supportive community. Whether offering a listening ear, thoughtful guidance on organizational strategy, or a game-changing donation, Jim has been an incredibly effective, generous board member. Thanks to Jim, AMSG’s impactful support of ASAP powerfully demonstrates the company’s values.”

Classes and workshops are taught by veterans and created with veterans in mind, including programming in acting, comedy, storytelling, writing, improv, and the visual arts. All classes are completely free to veterans and their families — with more than 700 veterans served each year.

Through ASAP participation, veterans and military-connected individuals see improvements in resilience, confidence and self-esteem, belonging and social support, skill development and translation, and self-discovery, according to peer-reviewed research. ASAP assists with the sometimes often-challenging transition to civilian life after service, which can be isolating, by forging a community. A resounding 99% of participants would recommend ASAP to friends and family, and 93% plan to take another class themselves.

“As a Veteran-founded and Veteran-led business, we make it our mission to support our Veterans, service members, military family members, and caregivers. And as a person who believes in serving a higher purpose, I sit on the board of ASAP because it is the healing power of the arts that has contributed to ASAP’s members being able to reacclimate themselves after returning home from duty,” says O’Farrell.

By: Sheila Rupp, AMSGazette Contributor and Editor