The Los Angeles LGBT Center has been awarded a $16,200 grant from the California Arts Council as part of its Veterans in the Arts (VIA) program. VIA addresses the needs and improves the lives of California’s Veterans by increasing equity, access, and opportunities for Veterans to participate in quality arts programming that is sensitive and responsive to their unique experiences. VIA provides project support for nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies, and Veteran’s assistance agencies to reach Veterans and their families.

Over the course of 12 weeks, award-winning filmmaker Andrew Putschoegl will provide instruction on documentary filmmaking techniques to 12 senior LGBT Veterans ages 50+ who will create a film that captures their unique perspectives related to serving in the U.S. military.

The class is being offered at the request of active participants in the Center’s LGBT Senior Veterans Initiative, a program that offers case management, support groups, and social activities and serves as a bridge between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and LGBT seniors who suffered discrimination in the military. The film, tentatively titled My Service, My Story, will be screened at the Center’s Stand Down event (a Veteran’s resource fair) and at a Veterans Day event in November. The film also will be submitted to film festivals and posted on the Center’s YouTube channel.

“This filmmaking course will be a transformative experience for our participating Veterans. Not only will they be empowered to guide the film’s direction, but they will also be able to explore themes related to their military experiences that best represent their history,” said the Center’s Director of Senior Services Kiera Pollock. “Thanks to this invaluable grant from California Arts Council, our Veterans’ artistic voices—and their stories about proudly serving our country—will finally be seen and heard.”

The Center is one of 46 grantees chosen for the Veterans in the Arts program. The award was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council, with grant funds totaling a projected $24,508,541 for 2018-19, the highest investment in statewide arts programming since the 2000-2001 fiscal year.

“Arts and culture are inextricably linked to our humanity,” said California Arts Council Chair Nashormeh Lindo. “They serve as a universal touchpoint for understanding and addressing our societal issues: dismantling inequity, healing trauma, reframing justice, inspiring truth and shaping futures. The Council is humbled to support the vital work of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and its passionate efforts to make a better California for us all.”

For more information about the Los Angeles LGBT Center, visit

For more information about the Center’s Senior Services, visit

To view a complete listing of all Veterans in the Arts grantees, visit

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