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Art as a gateway to mental health: A military veteran’s approach

In this one-hour webinar, two experts discuss how veterans can use art to express their experiences, resolve trauma, and forge a path to healing. 

Presenters Noel Lipana and Raymond Matsamura first will uncover the reasons veterans face distinctive afflictions (including stress-induced PTSD), and how the stigma around mental health and being unable to verbalize issues prevent resolution. Our speakers – a social worker and performing artist respectively – will discuss how therapy through performance art can provide answers.



Noël Lipana, Quiet Terrain, LLC


Dr. Noël Lipana operates Quiet Terrain, LLC, which uses performing arts to educate communities about moral injury and trauma. He earned his Doctor of Social Work at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California, where he previously did work-study at their Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families. Noël earned his Bachelor of Science from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996 and his M.A. in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Homeland Defense and Security in 2011. He has served in various Air Force and Army units throughout his twenty-year career, including time in Afghanistan as a counter-IED specialist. Upon his medical retirement from the service as a Lieutenant Colonel, he focused his doctoral studies on moral injury education.

In 2018 the Canadian Government brought him before their Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs at The House of Commons to testify on their inquiry of Barriers to Transition. In January of 2020, California Baptist University launched its Doctor of Social Work program by awarding him the "Fulfilling the Dream Award" for outstanding contribution to the field of Social Work and leadership in Community Engagement and Social Innovation. More recently, the Disabled American Veterans - California Chapter named Dr. Lipana, their 2020 Veteran of the Year; he was also an honorable mention for the national veteran of the year.

Noël is a founding board member and the newly installed President of the David J. Drakulich Art Foundation (DJDAF), which empowers and showcases veterans' wellness. Among the Foundation's programs, he assists DJDAF in the design, content, and implementation of the National Endowment for the Humanities grant, "Dialogues on the Experiences of War" discussion groups focusing on "Duty: War's Impact on Women."


Raymond Joel Matsamura, Performing Artist

Raymond Joel Matsamura has been a performing artist for twenty years as a professional actor, dancer, and singer. Branching out he found a passion for filming, directing, and editing. Having worked on Broadway in the musical WICKED for years, he was able to connect and work aside some of the best in the business.

A native of Southern California, Raymond graduated from Hollywood High School, and quickly began traveling on cruise ships dancing around the world. Between ships he joined a few regional productions such as, “CATS”, and “A Chorus Line”, as well as “Aladdin” at Disneyland before later touring with the blockbuster musical hit, WICKED. After the closing of the First National Tour he moved to NYC where he made his Broadway debut as ‘Chistery’ in WICKED. He was also fortunate to perform in Carnegie Hall’s production of “West Side Story” as ‘A-Rab’. Next on his list of dreams would be to go on a world tour with a major recording artist.

Access this webinar on-demand now.

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