Dani Figueroa

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Dani Figueroa

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“Rewind” is a song that started in 2014, while I was going through the medical board. It was completed in 2015. I struggled with transition, and lost a huge part of my identity when I became a veteran. The song has helped navigate through shame, and most importantly has helped me connect with others, especially veterans. I’ve been able to find more gentleness and forgiveness to a past that I can never change. I believe the question, “What if we could rewind?” is a universal one. It is my hope it will give honor where honor is due.

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HISTORY

My history as an artist is this. As a youth, I was involved in several established art programs from elementary to high school. In college I minored in fine art. (I joined the military after 9/11.) Fast forward to a few years ago, it took art therapy, toward the end of my military career (I medically retired in ‘14), to realize that the artist in me died during my first deployment in 2005. Although a subconscious decision, the artist in me was replaced by a void and darkness. It took a while for me to understand that I saw art as hopeful, alive, and good, and that these were all adjectives I didn't believe in or see in me anymore. (I copied, doodled, did things for commands or birthdays, but never created, until recently.) Art therapy was the defibrillator my ‘artistic’ heart needed to start again. As a result, I've been pursuing art therapy through the DoD's Vocational Rehabilitation Program. I’m still in the pre-requisite stage of this journey with aspirations to attend George Washington University.

COPING THROUGH ART

I would not be where I am today without the amazing support of these non-profit organizations: Semper Fi Fund/America's Fund, The 296 Project, Armed Service Arts Partnership, and CreatiVets Through these organizations I've found a community that keeps me connected, grounded, and accountable. It is my hope to one day through my art, especially music, to “pay it forward” financially and otherwise to all that have been there for me during my greatest time of need.