[HAS HEART] was founded over a cup of coffee shared between a U.S. Veteran and a designer in 2010. They made it their mission to bridge the growing divide between their veteran and civilian worlds by utilizing art, design and the power of storytelling. Experience this exhibit at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts Oct. 22-Dec. 22.
Each “50 States” project consists of a two-day design process in which a designer helps translate a Veteran’s story through graphic art. “50 States” partners a Veteran with a designer to share their message. The two-day collaborative design process starts over a cup of coffee where the two get to know one another by sharing stories and asking questions, all while brainstorming design concepts. Through years of conducting collaborations, [HAS HEART] has established an open and safe environment. As the Veteran is sharing their story, the artist begins to pick up on keywords, phrases, images, symbols, mottos, etc. While the designer listens, he/she asks questions to dig deeper into some of these key points — themes, and storylines will naturally begin to appear and develop. As the two continue to dive deeper into specific overlying messages, they will begin to narrow down their design options, eventually honing in on a single concept that best shares their meaningful message with the world.
Each of the meaningful “50 States” designs are produced into American-made products through unique collaborations with brands including Starbucks, Airstream, Alpha Industries, and others. A percentage of proceeds benefit the Veteran while also further enabling [HAS HEART] to share another’s Veteran’s story.
Currently less than 1% of the U.S. population is serving their country. Because of this wide gap between the civilian and Veteran populations, their worlds have never been more disconnected from that of their own neighbors. [HAS HEART] discovered that through uniting Veterans with creatives to help them share their story, they are able to initiate conversation, building understanding, generating support, and engage younger generations of Americans that otherwise would remain detached from their own community.