Long-term healing from a major trauma can take many forms and the specific treatments or services that lead to healing are unique to each individual. Everyone heals in their own time, as experts from the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center (NMVVRC) remind us, “Recovery from a Mass Violence Incident (MVI) is an often lengthy and ongoing process; there is no standard timeframe for recovery.”
Art as a Form of Remembrance and Recovery
Although it’s now been nearly five years since the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting, trauma is just under the surface for many survivors, bereaved family members, friends of victims, and first responders, as well as the Las Vegas community at large. Many special events, broadcasts, exhibits, and ceremonies have been planned for the 1 October remembrance this year to support long-term healing in different ways—a community-wide lantern art project, museum displays of artifacts and murals, and the annual sunrise and reading of the names ceremonies. Details about all the fifth remembrance activities may be found on the Remembrance tab of the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center website.
Research tells us that creating art in a form that speaks to a particular individual is often transformative for those who have experienced trauma. It breaks through the isolation many survivors endure and can be a motivating factor to seek assistance through more traditional therapies as well. The relationship between art and healing is well established, and the creative process has enabled many survivors to move through their grief or trauma towards long-term healing.
Help Create a Lasting 1 October Memorial
The 1 October Memorial Committee has been thoughtfully designing an inclusive process to inspire creative and artistic ideas for the permanent memorial to honor the victims, survivors, and heroic first responders while also celebrating the resiliency and compassion of the Las Vegas community. The committee has created a process for anyone to submit a creative idea regarding 1 October that may inspire the architect and artistic team ultimately chosen to design and build the memorial.
Everyone is encouraged to participate by submitting a creative idea, including a song, poem, drawing, video, dance, or an expression through another artistic medium that conveys a feeling, emotion, or experience related to 1 October. A public gallery has been created where these expressions can be viewed and the professional teams who plan to submit an application to build the memorial are encouraged to review them for inspiration. The deadline for submitting these creative expressions has been extended to October 31 in an effort to spread the word among the thousands of survivors expected to travel to Las Vegas during the fifth remembrance.
The VSRC staff and volunteers look forward to connecting with those attending in-person events to observe this year’s remembrance as well as those who will be participating virtually. We are here to support anyone impacted in their individual long-term healing by providing information, access to services, and assistance any way we can. The VSRC office will be open and staff will be present at events. Please introduce yourself and let us know how we can help facilitate your journey to long-term healing.