At Ease: Nature & Art for Veterans

Brushwood Center’s At Ease program is an innovative approach to empower military veterans’ wellbeing through a series of nature-based art and photography workshops.

This program is offered at no charge to military veterans thanks to our supporters and partners. Brushwood Center collaborates with the James A. Lovell Federal Healthcare Center to connect veterans to the arts and the opportunity to explore and restore in nature.

Participants immerse themselves in the peaceful sanctuary provided by Brushwood Center at the pristine Ryerson Woods, and discover a new side of themselves and the natural world through the creative arts.

All veterans and their families are welcomed! See our upcoming dates below.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we have to post-pone our Beginner and Intermediate Photography Workshop Series. In the meantime, we have scheduled two series of online workshops to help people find peace, community, and artistic expression during this difficult time.

Our visual art series, Focus On Joy, will be led by artist Maureen Claffy, and utilize household objects to teach basics of drawing and painting.

Learn more about Focus On Joy

Our other series, Nature Platoon: Outdoor Exploration and Photography, focuses on utilizing military skill sets to explore the natural world.

Learn more about Nature Platoon

You can reach Dani Abboud with any questions at 224.633.2427 or

Check out our recent feature on NBC!

Support At Ease by:
  • Connect Brushwood Center with a veteran’s community group, treatment facility, or corporate veteran’s program.
  • Become a sponsor or donor of Brushwood Center’s At Ease program.
  • Volunteer your artistic talents, equipment, and other skills. Contact Dani at