Our board is composed of veterans from 3 branches of service, established contemporary artists, and professionals in the field of adaptive reintegration. In addition to our six executive board members, CBAW’s work is shaped by stakeholders, through an advisory council that includes veterans, artists, and mental health clinicians. These individuals provide feedback on community needs, program direction, and help to facilitate workshops and build the community.


Seema Reza, Chair, is the author of “When the World Breaks Open,” a memoir of essays and poetry published by Red Hen Press. Based outside of Washington DC, she coordinates and facilitates a unique multi-hospital arts program that encourages the use of the arts as a tool for narration, self-care and socialization among a population struggling with emotional and physical injuries. She serves as a council member-at-large for the Transformative Language Arts Network.

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Joe Merritt, Vice-Chair, is a self-taught artist who has shown work in over 20 shows in the Washington DC metro area.  Art and writing became his daily practice as a way of dealing with post combat stress and the life of being a single parent.  After medical retirement ending 10 years in the United States Marine Corps, he now splits time between creating mixed media pieces based on the emotional experience and lessons that life has given him and working as an art facilitator at military hospitals in the area, bringing peer support and experience along with a growing knowledge of artistic media.

Contact Joe