New podcast episode: Supporting Veterans through the arts

American flag with cherry blossoms

In our latest podcast episode, we learn about Román Baca’s work in supporting veterans through art and dance. These creative initiatives help provide safe and welcoming spaces for veterans to share their stories as they are transition back into communities.

What's Work Got To Do With It? Supporting Veterans through Art and Dance podcast episode title and logo. Soldier in a military uniform with flag draped over shoulder

Román Baca is a classically trained ballet dancer and choreographer. In 2001, recognizing his desire to defend the defenseless, he took a hiatus from dance and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving as a machine-gunner and fire-team leader in Fallujah, Iraq during the Iraq War.  After the war, Román returned to dance and co-founded Exit12 Dance Company, which tells veterans’ stories choreographically, to increase cross-cultural understanding and heal divisions. Exit12 has delivered its programming in multiple conventional and unconventional performance spaces across the world.

Alongside Román’s work with Exit12, he is also an Early Career Researcher at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire, a Junior Research Scientist with the USAF/USN Research Unit and a Ph.D. Candidate at York St. John University in the UK studying the intersection of dance and war. Earlier this year, Román worked as an Arts Envoy with the US State Department to Nigeria where he conducted creative workshops with paramilitary, police and charitable organizations on arts and health. Román completed his MFA at Trinity Laban and was the 2019 awardee of the Selma Jeanne Cohen Dance Lecture Award for his research into the dance and the military.

To learn more about Román Baca and Exit12 Dance Company, visit: exit12danceco.org.

Román was a guest speaker in September for our Science Seminar series. He spoke on the topic, “Choreographing War Stories to Provoke Healing, Peacebuilding and Understanding.”

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