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Speed Killed My Cousin at R&R Arts Festival: From Recovery to Reintegration

  • University of South Florida 3837 USF Holly Drive Tampa, FL, 33620 United States (map)

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. will present their production of Speed Killed My Cousin at the R&R Arts Festival: From Recovery to Reintegration 7:30 pm February 2 at the University of South Florida Theater.  Speed Killed My Cousin is an original play about an African American woman soldier who returns from Iraq and struggles with PTSD, Moral Injury, the issues of Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and her family's history with vehicular suicide. Speed will open up the festival that is a part of the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military. For more information contact Art2Action's Website


Since its inception, the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military has endeavored to convene conversations among artists, arts professionals, creative arts therapists, caregivers, researchers and policy makers across the country. To date, more than 800 military/veteran and civilian stakeholders have been engaged in the Summit and Roundtable conversations. The findings and recommendations collected in these conversations were summarized in the seminal report, the Arts, Health, and Well-Being Across the Military Continuum – White Paper and Framing a National Plan for Action, published by Americans for the Arts in 2013.

Yet, we have not yet had an opportunity to bring these groups together in a way that centers on and deeply investigates the impact of artistic practice for patients and caregivers, artists and therapists; we rarely get to see full productions of the artistic work, experience the processes that professional artists bring, or hear directly from veterans about their experiences in co-creation. This project aims to address these challenges in a cross-sector exchange, by bringing artists, creative arts therapists, and healthcare professionals into conversation on arts practices aiding in recovery, reintegration, resilience and regeneration. By providing information, training and networking across the complex array of current and potential providers and supporters, we hope to ensure quality arts practices and services are in place for communities across the United States, to help our servicemen and women, veterans and their families deal with the key physical and psychological health issues that emerge, and forge a life path to health and well-being through the arts.

The National Summit is an invitation-only event, offered free to participants. Participants are responsible for their own transportation and lodging. The event brings together a cross-sector group of practitioners, researchers and leaders from the military, Veteran, public and private sectors, civilian non-profit arts, health and social sectors, as well as interested individuals, advocates and administrators who support greater access to the arts and creative arts therapies for the military and Veteran populations. Space is limited and first come/first served; not all requests can be honored, and participants may be placed on a waiting list. To request an invitation, email Marete Wester, Americans for the Arts Senior Policy Director:


Americans for the Arts is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, dedicated to representing and serving local communities and to creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. With offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Since 2011, Americans for the Arts has led the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military (NIAHM), a collaborative effort that seeks to advance the policy, practice, and quality use of the arts and creativity as tools for health in the military; raise visibility, understanding, and support of arts and health in the military; and make the arts as tools for health available to active duty military, military families, and veterans. Among NIAHM’s advisors, partners and collaborators include the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Defense Office of Warrior Care Policy, the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Veterans Health Administration, and NIH’s National Center of Complementary & Integrative Health, in addition to national, state and local arts, humanities, and veterans service nonprofits; state and local cultural agencies; and universities around the country.