Maloof Veterans Workshop
Fourth Annual Veterans Workshop
October 7-9, 2016

Maloof Veterans Workshop Background


The Maloof Veterans Workshop, named for celebrated modernist woodworker Sam Maloof (1916-2009), was developed as a way of introducing veterans to the healing effects of art-making through an intensive, three-day exploration of the skills, tools, materials and processes of woodworking. The workshop, which originated in 2013, introduces participants to the life and legacy of Sam Maloof and his wife Alfreda Ward Maloof, who were both veterans of World War II. Sam served in the US Army and Alfreda was a US Navy Wave.


HELPING VETERANS: Military veterans often return home from combat experiences with PTSD-related symptoms that impair their ability to function as they transition to civilian life. Art-making therapies in concentrated creative environments have been found to relieve veterans’ post-traumatic symptoms, nurturing neural pathways that can open doors to healing. Even many years following deployments on combat missions, art-making may help reconnect veterans to positive, creative work that helps replace traumatic memories, building personal confidence and self esteem and contributing to improved occupational and social adjustment.


WORKSHOP EXPERIENCE: The Maloof Veterans Workshop begins with a tour of the Maloof Historic Home, Gallery, and Workshop, where Sam Maloof and his wife, Alfreda, lived and worked for more than half a century. Visitors learn about Sam’s life of imagination, creativity and achievement, and may take inspiration from his example. Veterans with little or no previous woodworking experience will then receive hands-on instruction from a master woodworker who guides them in the making of a Maloof-inspired piece of furniture. Up to six workshop participants will learn to saw, shape, sand and finish their pieces, which they may then inscribe and take home as a lasting memory of their experience. The workshop also produces a group piece, which is signed by the participants and added to the Maloof’s collection of veterans’ work. Through conversation at communal meals throughout the weekend, the veterans also have an opportunity to build new relationships with peers who know well the challenges of overcoming combat trauma. Their interactions with the Maloof Master Woodworker who guides their woodworking experience, provides them with a first-hand connection to the Maloof legacy. During the workshop weekend, spouses, children, family members, friends and supporters of the participants are invited to visit The Maloof gallery and workshop, where they, too, come to appreciate the Maloof legacy, viewing the works in progress and celebrating the veterans’ participation. The weekend workshop serves up to six veteran participants and about one hundred additional workshop and site visitors.


WOMEN VETERANS: IN 2016 for the first time, the workshop will serve women veterans, the self-described “she-roes” of our nation’s recent military engagements. Enlisting women as woodworkers seeks to overcome gender barriers in an activity that is traditionally associated with men. A focus on women as participants also underscores the values of Sam Maloof, who devoted a portion of his own personal philanthropy to scholarships targeted specifically to encourage and cultivate the skills of women woodworkers. Women veterans will learn as well of the important contributions of Sam’s wife Alfreda, who was herself a WWII veteran, and who played an important role in the building of the Maloof family’s woodworking business.


FUNDING REQUEST: Philanthropic grants to the Maloof Veterans Workshop go directly to support workshop expenses, including instructors, tools, materials, participant meals, visitor programming, lodging (as needed), documentation and assessment.


If you are interested in donating to this year's Maloof Veterans Workshop, please visit our Go Fund Me page or by clicking on the image below.