Alum Richard Casper (BFA 2012) was recently named one of CNN’s 2022 Heroes. In their mission to highlight ordinary people with extraordinary impact, CNN selects each of their heroes from a list of nominees created through a public online nomination process. In his profile and interview, Casper details how art helped him with his mental health and his transition to civilian life after serving in the Marine Corps. In 2013, Casper started his nonprofit CreatiVets to give other veterans the opportunity to heal through art and music, which has helped over 900 veterans since its founding through its offering of multiple programs and workshops. Each summer, a three-week, fully accredited art-making program takes place at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and culminates in an exhibition at the School’s SITE gallery. In 2022, SAIC celebrated eight years of partnership with CreatiVets.
“I think that CreatiVets is in a place now where we could help design programs that are in the military,” Caspar tells CNN. “As [...] you're learning how to write a resume and go to a job interview, I think there should be a parallel [...] that helps you with your emotional intelligence and says it's okay to be able to write songs, to do art.”