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Life & Work with Richard Casper

Today we’d like to introduce you to Richard Casper.

Hi Richard, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
After coming home from war with a brain injury and PTSD, I was lost. My humvee was hit by 4 I.E.D.S and I watched my buddy get shot and killed beside me. I was not into art or music before my injuries but I was lucky enough to discover the arts and music at a small community college in Normal, Illinois.

From there, I went on to study the arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago which truly changed the way I thought about my experiences in war. During that same time, I was starting to write songs as a way to get things on my chest. With those two new skills and a new way of thinking I was almost back to pre-war Richard.

When I graduated from SAIC, I knew that I had to create a program that would help other veterans like me chose the arts as an option. That’s when I launched CreatiVets in 2013 with the help of a close friend Linda Tarrson. My story inspired TIME magazine to do a documentary on my life and CreatiVets which you can find at

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My obstacles are like most in the nonprofit space, funding, and partnerships to expand our amazing programs.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
My advice for someone starting a nonprofit would be to first see if what you are trying to do exists. If it does exist, it may be better for you to join that organization instead of recreating the wheel.

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