Phyllis Alexandroff has been a part of the art community in Brandon and beyond for quite some time. She has taught art in Hillsborough County Public Schools, the University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is bringing her veterans art therapy program to Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association on Wednesday, November 3.

Phyllis Alexandroff has been a part of the art community in Brandon and beyond for quite some time. She has taught art in Hillsborough County Public Schools, the University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. These are just some of the locations where she has shared her knowledge and love for the arts.

“I have had some really amazing opportunities in my career, but I’ve always held what I’ve done with Center Place very near and dear to my heart,” Alexandroff said.

One of her other passions is working with veterans. Alexandroff was inspired to work with veterans ever since a veterans organization helped her get her brother’s name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

“I was so thankful for their help,” Alexandroff said. “I wanted to give back to them for helping me, so I decided to use the arts to give back to them.”

Alexandroff started an art therapy program for veterans.

“Veterans of Foreign Wars were invited to participate in a program designed for them,” Alexandroff said. “No surveys, no record keeping, no focus groups, just a place for them to spend down time with like-minded brothers and sisters, no matter what battle they survived.”

Alexandroff has worked with veterans at the Tampa Vet Center and brings art experiences that require no talent or prior experience, and it’s in a safe environment. “No cost to the veterans who attended, no hidden agenda,” Alexandroff said. “Vets could come in, check it out and do some art.”

Alexandroff wants to bring her veterans’ art therapy program to Center Place this fall.

“I would like to start the program on November 3 at Center Place because the center has been great to me over the years,” Alexandroff said.

Center Place is looking to the Brandon community to help fund this new art therapy program being offered.

“We hope to find a community sponsor for this program because it is going to be a free program for our veterans,” said Center Place’s executive director, Libby Hopkins. “Our veterans have done so much for our country, and we need to give them a safe, nonjudgmental place for them to express themselves artistically.”

If you are interested in being a sponsor for this new veterans art therapy program at Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association, please contact Hopkins at 685-8888. Center Place is located at 619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon.

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Libby is a writer for The Osprey Observer/The Christian Voice. She started as an intern in 2009 and upon finishing her internship, she was asked to stay on as a permanent writer for both papers. Libby lives in Brandon with her two rescue dogs, Olive and Bogey.