Monthaven Art and Cultural Center

Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center
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Media Inquiries:

Cheryl Strichik: [email protected]
(615) 293-3767


HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (June 4, 2024) – Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center (MACC) is pleased to announce that it has received a $50,000 Creative Forces Community Engagement Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Mid-America Arts Alliance (MAAA) to support its Between the Lines Healing Arts Program for military veterans. The program provides free expressive-arts group activities to military veterans experiencing combat related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other disorders. Funds from the grant will help support the program over a two-year period.

“We are honored to receive this important grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and Mid-America Arts Alliance,” says MACC Executive Director Cheryl Strichik. “Last year, our community partners and healing arts facilitators brought hope and healing to thousands of participants. This generous grant will allow us to reach even more veterans in need of the expressive arts in Middle Tennessee.”

Since 2019, Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center’s healing arts facilitators have worked with participants at Veterans Recovery Center in Murfreesboro and other places to find creative ways to overcome depressive and anxious feelings. Our healing arts projects foster self-awareness. They also encourage self-talk, emotional processing, thought restructuring, personal goal-setting, social skills, and community building through the creation of various kinds of art (visual arts, music, dance, creative writing, etc.) in a positive group setting. Many veterans participating in the program say they were too anxious to leave their homes before taking part in the MACC’s expressive arts group activities.

“It helps to come to this art class to see other people and to focus on creating something,” says Trish, a U.S. Army veteran participating in the program. “This is really the only social interaction I have. It’s hard to come sometimes, but I don’t want to miss it because it helps me stay focused, feel less anxious and actually enjoy my day.”

In 2023, the MACC’s healing arts facilitators worked with 10 community partners to provide expressive arts group activities to 2,576 participants suffering from trauma. Moving forward, funds from the Creative Forces grant will allow the MACC to join with its community partners to provide 200-plus free expressive arts group activities at multiple sites. These intermodal creative arts exercises will help facilitate healing experiences and provide coping tools, validation and hope. In addition to its lead partner, the Veterans Recovery Center in Murfreesboro, the MACC will team with Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at Middle Tennessee State University, Sumner County Veterans Home in Gallatin and VFW Post 9851 in Hendersonville, among others.

About the Creative Forces Initiative
Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs that seeks to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for military and veteran populations exposed to trauma, as well as their families and caregivers. Creative Forces is managed in partnership with Civic Arts, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, and Mid-America Arts Alliance. More information can be found at

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. To learn more, visit

About Mid-America Arts Alliance
Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and beyond. To learn more about M-AAA grants, programs, exhibitions, and fellowships, visit

About Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center
Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center (MACC) is a jewel-box art museum and education facility housed in one of Tennessee’s most spectacular antebellum mansions. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the MACC has staged exhibitions featuring everything from the ceramic art of Pablo Picasso to the evening gowns of Princess Diana. The artwork of local artists and military veterans are also on frequent display. As an art school, the MACC offers classes to more than 900 children and adults each year. The MACC also provides free arts outreach and healing arts to underserved children, families and military veterans. For more information, visit or call (615) 822-0789.

Kaylin Warden

External Affairs Coordinator

Kaylin Warden joined the Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center staff in 2024 as External Affairs Coordinator. In this post, she organizes special off-site events and manages the organization’s external communications. She also works with the development department by updating the MACC’s customer relations database, and she assists the executive director in setting up exhibitions. Above all else, Kaylin is passionate about the arts. It comes as no surprise, then, that she is now pursuing a master’s degree in art history. When she’s not at the MACC, you can find her reading her favorite books (especially ones dealing with maritime mysteries), cooking, gardening, playing with her cat and two dogs, and cheering for the Nashville Predators.

Ruth Chase

Regional Arts Director
Ruth Chase is the Regional Arts Director of Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center, joining the team in 2023. For Ruth, the job is all about community, bringing people together to uplift and educate artists and art lovers alike. Her role at Monthaven is to strengthen the local artist community and build connections that will enrich Hendersonville and our surrounding communities through art exhibitions, art education, and opportunities for regional artists.
Prior to joining Monthaven, Ruth worked in the arts for over 30 years and is a multimedia artist and graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute. Her artistic practice is inquiry-based and engages in community bridge-building. She was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Los Angeles, curated and juried exhibitions, and has taught at the Crocker Art Museum.
Ruth was awarded an Artist-in-Residence for Artist Activating Communities through a grant from the California Arts Council for three consecutive years. Her film Belonging screened at both the 18th Annual Nevada City Film Festival and Wild & Scenic Film Festival. She has received the Legendary Female Artist of Venice award, and she has exhibited in The Crocker Kingsley, the Museum of Northern California Art, and the Diego Rivera Gallery at the San Francisco Art Institute. Ruth also continues her work as a Curatorial Consultant and Art director for the Californian Indigenous Research Project, where she has worked with the local tribe since 2018.