Veteran’s Creative Retreats
Envisioning Hope for the Future

 (Sacramento Area)

Spend a day focusing on your hope for the future – it will inspire you now!
Share your stories with others – there is power in speaking your truth!
Your images of hope will grace the VA hospital:
They will inspire other Vets in the future!


“This program really helped me process things from my deployment even more and in a completely new and exciting way. This has been a really great and safe environment where nobody was trying to one-up anybody. It was amazing! We need more programs like this!”

With support from the California Arts Council, we are offering a series of free retreats for Veterans and their families to artistically express their military experiences, share their often difficult stories in a supportive community, and then encourage others by creating art of hope and healing. Your participation will not only support your own healing and growth, but will inspire other Veterans in need of hope. Images of the healing art, accompanied by stories by the artists, will be printed on large outdoor banners to be hung around the Sacramento VA (Mather) hospital and meditation garden to inspire others.


“Having PTSD I isolate myself a lot because of my energy being drained. This retreat was awesome! Safe, relaxing. I love the relaxation & meditation techniques I learned! It had a positive impact on me. Looking to the future should be full of positive opportunities. I can regroup when I get overwhelmed or stressed.”

Join us for a day of creative exploration and sharing and see how your experiences as a veteran can support your growth and healing! Using words and images as prompts, you will express your unique visions using various artistic materials, working in silence in order to fully listen to your personal inner voice. You will have the option to share your work and thoughts with others in a safe circle that encourages supportive expression around subjects both uplifting and challenging. No art experience is needed – just a willingness to honestly explore in a rejuvenating environment

“I really enjoyed the creative process that took me from feeling overwhelmed to a place of discovery and acceptance. I wasn’t expecting my collage experience to feel so healing, but it did. This process has helped me to feel more empowered, that when I go back to my crazy overwhelmed life, I will be more equipped to handle it. Looking at my inner feelings and finding the hope and strength I have inside brings me healing and reduces some of the stress I usually feel. This program empowers people and can impact their lives in significant ways.”

Our goal is to help you ignite hope for the future as you reconnect to your creativity, transform personal life stories into ones of empowerment and purpose, and inspire others through your work. Each retreat will offer a variety of projects to guide and motivate: opportunities to clarify your thoughts through writing; guided visualization and mindfulness techniques to inspire your creative juices and help manage anxiety, depression and pain; simple artistic projects to stimulate your vision of hope; and honest, communal sharing to emphasize the importance of your voice and connect you to community.

“The fact that my words and art could someday help to inspire other Veterans who are struggling with health or mental issues makes my attendance at this retreat even more important! Not only am I remembering to be hopeful in my own life, I could be giving hope to countless strangers in the future!”

In order to create a safe space for individuals to share their personal challenges and hopes, each retreat is geared toward exclusive populations associated with any branch of the military, no matter the length of the veteran’s service. LGBTQ+ welcome.

“Women Vets Retreats”: These retreats are open to any individuals who self-identify as woman veterans.
“Men Vets Retreats”: These retreats are open to any veterans who self-identify as male veterans.
“Adult Supporters of Vets Retreats”: These retreats are open to any adult who supports, cares for, or is affected by a military veteran. This can include, but is not limited to, spouses, partners, parents, siblings and friends. In order to provide a chance for supporters to speak honestly about their experiences, we ask that veterans do not attend the retreats for supporters.

This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.
Learn more at

California Arts Council Logo

Veteran holding wire art projectWomen Vets hold their projects
2 veteran artists show their workwoman veteran shows her art
Retreats will be rescheduled once
social distancing requirements
are lifted
Each retreat is geared towards a particular population!
See “Who Can Attend A Retreat?” at left. Times for retreats vary.

Facilitators: Alison Tomei and
Carol Mathew-Rogers
Auditorium, VA Hospital
(VA Northern CA Health System)
10535 Hospital Way
Mather, CA 95655
Fee: No Charge to participate.
Free will donations encouraged.
Snacks and lunch will be provided.

To assure your space, you must register in advance. Group size is limited!

Registration: Contact Carol Mathew-Rogers to reserve your place.
Phone: (916) 341-9563


Learn more about the
California Arts Council Grant
that is funding this project
by visiting this webpage:
Banners of Hope Grant.



In order to expand the creative arts into the world, Creative Edge is always looking for facilitators who have introspective and creative workshops to offer in areas such as visual arts, music, storytelling and other creative opportunities. Partnering with us expands your program reach to the benefit of all our participants. For a facilitator application, or to suggest a workshop, please send an email to


To honor the commitment of registrants and presenters we have a one-week registration deadline for all events unless otherwise noted. If the minimum number of registrants is not reached one week prior to an event, Creative Edge reserves the right to cancel the event. For events cancelled by Creative Edge, 100% of monies paid by registrant will be refunded. You may cancel your registration for an event by its registration deadline and be refunded all but a 10% processing fee or $5 minimum. For cancellations after the registration deadline we regret we cannot offer refunds as the monies are already committed.