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The Kennedy Center

Artists Featured in Book

Dwight Graves

Photo of Dwight Graves

"The healing process starts when you can let things out of you. Language can stop people up. That's why clay and different forms of art and music are a really good way to express yourself. And basically heal yourself."

Dwight has intimate knowledge of the role the arts play in expression and healing. He comes from a family of visual artists and plays several musical instruments. Dwight is also a veteran, and as a result of his experiences in Vietnam, he has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dwight uses both his music and ceramics skills to work through his own difficulties. But he also enjoys sharing with groups of others who have disabilities the special nonverbal healing powers of working with one's hands and experiencing music.

"Part of my calling is to get out to the public and try to share different experiences with people. I've always been involved with working with people with special needs...You have to believe in what you're doing, and not compare it with somebody else...It's not about playing all the right notes...It's about being real about it. If you work from the heart, that's truth. You don't have to prove yourself to anybody...Creativity is the journey."