Art therapy offered at MOCA for those affected by VB mass shooting

Virginia Beach Mass Shooting

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A new art therapy program is now being offered at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, to help those affected by the Virginia Beach mass shooting.

The idea came to life through a partnership between MOCA and Eastern Virginia Medical School.

They are creating art, but they’re also healing their hearts.

“It was clear how they were affected by it and grappling with it,” said Geoffrey Thompson, an assistant professor at EVMS and licensed art therapist.

Like many, this group of women, who work for the convention and visitors bureau, are still reeling from the Virginia Beach Mass shooting. The team provided support for the city during the tragedy.

“The fact that it hits so close to home, and that it could have been us or my coworkers, I remember the next day just grabbing my coworkers and just hugging them,” said Kasey Moore, the social media coordinator for the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The program is guided by art therapists who facilitate a conversation, allowing those holding in pain from May 31 a peaceful release.

Thompson says it’s important to take the time to stop and reflect, even if that means a paint brush in hand.

“We know we’re affected, but we try to go back to work, we’ll make due, but you could see that effect was real and profound,” Thompson said.

Halfway into the program, Moore felt the art therapy working.

“Honestly I feel great,” said a smiling Moore.

You can show up for the class on the last Monday of every month.

It’s at 6 p.m. and lasts about an hour.

Right now the program is funded for a year, but they are welcoming donations to expand that.

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