October 16, 2013

SUNY Empire State College Hosts Veteran Artist Program in New York City

SUNY Empire State College and Veteran Artist Program logos for news release(NEW YORK CITY – Oct. 17, 2013) As sponsors of the nonprofit Veteran Artist Program week-long Arts and Service Celebration, SUNY Empire State College’s Office of Veteran and Military Education and its Metropolitan New York Center are hosting VAP’s creative pitch workshop and three professional pitch panels in film, theater and writing for military veterans pursuing a career in the arts.

Open to any and all veterans or veteran service organization leaders interested in how to pitch, the panels take place at the Metropolitan Center as part of the Arts and Service celebration taking place in New York City Nov. 2-11.

“We are proud to sponsor the Veteran Artist Program Arts and Service Celebration as one of many ways in which Empire State College honors and respects the ongoing contributions of our active duty and veteran service members,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college.

"The commitment to veterans that Empire State College has shown is an example of what is needed around the country,” said BR McDonald, founder and president of VAP. “The New York City arts and entertainment industry has embraced VAP alongside educational institutions to create so much opportunity for veterans. These are exciting times and the future is even brighter for veterans with partners like these."

In addition to supporting events and organization such as the Veteran Artist Program, SUNY Empire State College supports the military community through its:

Presented in partnership with Warrior Gateway, the VAP Arts and Service Celebration events comprise a week of networking, career development, and performances supporting and celebrating veterans seeking professional careers in the arts.

About the VAP Creative Pitch Workshop

The Creative Pitch Workshop in film, writing and theater takes place at the college’s Metropolitan Center Nov. 4, 1-3 p.m. The workshop will be led by award winning director/producer Whitney Dow and Ryan Harrington, director of documentary programming for the Tribeca Film Institute, who will take the veterans through the steps of what it takes to create and deliver a successful pitch. 

The session is open to all Arts and Service Celebration participants and veterans interested in learning about how to break into the arts and entertainment industry. Information on attending the workshop can be found here.

About the VAP Profession Pitch Panels

The VAP film panels will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 6, and Thursday, Nov. 7, 1-3 p.m. at SUNY Empire State College Metropolitan New York Center. Twelve film projects will be chosen to pitch to a panel of industry leading filmmakers and funders who will grade the pitch and give feedback on how to improve it. 

The Tribeca Film Institute will offer two separate cash awards of $1,000 that will be given to the two teams that make the best pitch each day.

The writing panel will take place on Thursday, Nov. 7, from 1-3 p.m., at the Metropolitan New York Center. Six film projects will be chosen to pitch to a panel of industry leading professionals who will grade the pitch and give feedback on how to make the project better.

To be considered for the opportunity to pitch the panels, a proposal must be submitted to VAP by Oct. 25. More information about how to submit can be found here.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. Students engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in the state of New York and online. Its 70,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more. More information about the college is available here.

About Veteran Artist Program 

Founded in 2009, VAP focuses on propelling veterans into the mainstream creative arts community through networking, mentorship, collaborations and original productions. VAP fosters and promotes veterans in the arts by encouraging them to pursue their passion in an intentional way. Since 2009, VAP has worked with veterans and organizations in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and New York. VAP has produced five music and theatrical live events, filmed two documentaries, one feature film, curated gallery exhibits, provided videography and photography services and helped organize more than 30 community improvement projects, including painting two murals in Baltimore. For more information visit: www.veteranartistprogram.org

About Warrior Gateway™

Founded in 2009, Warrior Gateway connects service members, military families, wounded warriors, families of the fallen and U.S. veterans with government and nonprofit programs in their local community. Warrior Gateway harnesses state-of-the art technology and community collaboration to help today's military community make better decisions about what service provider can help. 

Their programs provide a public forum where people can share their experiences about the quality and effectiveness of those services. In 2011, Warrior Gateway’s efforts were recognized with the Federal Computer Week Fed-100 award for significant contributions to the Federal IT community, and in 2012 with a ComputerWorld Honors Laureate for innovation in creating an open source platform for information sharing. A proud partner of the Got Your 6 campaign, Warrior Gateway works to bridge the civilian-military divide with nonprofit and government partners. Warrior Gateway is an IRS registered 501(c)3 organization. For more information, visit www.warriorgateway.org


Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications
518-587-2100, ext. 2918
518-321-7038 (after hours and on weekends)


Media contact: BR McDonald, Veteran Artist Program