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Our Mission

Creativity, Community, Camaraderie

Artists in Arms is committed to building a lasting community where Veteran artists and artisans can explore their creativity, hone artistic skills, and find new avenues of service. We will always strive to provide an inclusive and welcoming space for our diverse Veteran population. Artists in Arms holds all forms of art and artisan skills in equal esteem, we recognize the contributions of the arts in society and culture and believe Veteran voices should be heard and included in artistic communities.

Meet The Team


Amelia Templeton
- Executive Director -

Amelia Templeton is a lifelong artist, former theatre professional, and United States Marine Corps Veteran. She began exploring visual art as soon as she was capable of raiding her mother's studio, expanded into performing art in middle school, and after her time in the Marine Corps was over, she returned home to Texas and her first love, The Arts. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from The University of St. Thomas. She has worked with a number of Houston area theatres including: The Alley Theatre, Queensbury Theatre, Stageworks Theatre, and the Texas Renaissance Festival. Amelia also works with the Clemente Veterans Initiative serving as a Co-Facilitator and speaking at the 2022 National Humanities Conference. She continues to strive for a positive impact on her community through the arts and second service among her siblings in arms.

Meet The Board

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Jason Graeber


Bio Coming Soon

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Max Rayneard


Max Rayneard is a South African scholar, teacher, theatre maker, and writer. He has collaborated with veterans, military family members, and war-affected people across America since 2007.  A Fulbright Scholarship brought him to the United States and the University of Oregon in 2004. He earned a PhD in Comparative Literature in 2011 with a dissertation on the literary, theatrical, and pedagogical implications of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and would go on to teach Anglophone African Literature at Colgate University (2011-2014).   While at the University of Oregon, beginning in 2007, he cocreated the process and aesthetic for what would become The Telling Project, a national performing arts non-profit founded by Jonathan Wei. The Telling Project stages stories as told by veterans, military families and other war-affected persons.  From 2014-2018, Rayneard served as The Telling Project’s Senior Writer/Producer and Director of Research and Outcomes.  He has written, produced, and/or directed more than 40 Telling Project productions all over the United States in church halls, community college auditoriums, small regional theatres, as well as such esteemed venues as the Great Hall in The Library of Congress, The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, and Houston’s Alley Theatre. His work was been acknowledged and supported by various awards and grants, including a University of Texas at Austin Humanities Institute Community Sabbatical Grant (2015-2016), a Pulsar award for “Best Original Script” for Telling:  Lansing (2016). Telling: Houston was the subject of a Congressional Commendation by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (2017). For a sense of The Telling Project’s work, please watch Twin Cities Public Television 2016 documentary Minnesota Remembers Vietnam: The Telling Project. In 2016, Rayneard received a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant for "Planting the Oar," a literature-based discussion series between military veterans and civilians under the auspices of The Telling Project. He designed, implemented, and administered the program between 2016 and 2018. In the Fall of 2018, Rayneard joined the faculty of the Honors College at the University of Houston. He teaches in the core Human Situation curriculum, the Medicine & Society minor, and the Creative Work minor. He is the founding director of the FrameWorks, an undergraduate humanities research program, and edits its dedicated journal.  He continued his work with veterans during the Covid-era as the Academic Director Clemente Veterans Initiative: Houston (2019, 2021), a National Endowment for the Humanities funded program of the Clemente Course in the Humanities. This is where he met the Executive Director of Artists-in-Arms, Amelia Templeton and is grateful to play a part in her vision.


Joshua Templeton


Joshua Templeton is an Artisan, Firefighter and United States Marine Corps Veteran. He has been creating since the first time his dad handed him a hammer. The thing that has always driven him the most is problem solving. Being able to look at something and figure out how to make it better. He spent 8 years in the Marine Corps serving across the globe in various countries. Seeing many aspects of the world during this time, changed the way he perceived what was important. Since returning to the civilian world he has been determined to help other Veterans and their family members. He has a BA in Intelligence Studies. He spent a short time working with Combined Arms helping facilitate one of their programs to help Veterans in need. He has worked as a carpenter at: Stageworks Theatre and The Alley Theatre. He owns his own Workshop where he gets to be an Artisan and create things which allows him to give back to Veteran Organizations that help Veterans. With over 28 years of experience being an Artist and not even knowing it; he is determined to help other Veterans who also have this creative mindset succeed. He believes that in the Military there is a stigma that needs to be squashed. Military personnel are not too macho to be Artists or Artisans. This is why he has joined the cause at Artists in Arms to ensure that his fellow veterans understand and realize their potential to do great things.


Katharine Ghraham

Vice President

Bio Coming Soon


Earl Smith

At Large

Earl Smith is the Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coordinator with Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. He has served as a CERT Coordinator since 2014. . During emergency activations, Earl primarily serves as Liaison Officer at the Harris County Emergency Operations Center. Through his career, he has responded to numerous disasters and special events, including Hurricane Harvey, Super Bowl 51, the 2017 and 2019 World Series, the ITC Industrial Fire, COVID-19, 2021 Winter Storm and frequent other severe weather incidents and special events. He retired as a Captain after serving over 20 years in the Army and Texas Army National Guard. Earl served in Operation Desert Storm where he earned the Bronze Star Medal. He was mobilized as part of Operation Noble Eagle after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Later, as a member of the Texas Army National Guard, he deployed to East Texas for the Space Shuttle Columbia Recovery mission. He served as a company commander during relief efforts for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. After his military career he continued to serve in uniform as an instructor of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) in Houston Independent School District. He is a graduate of the University of Houston. He has served in leadership roles with the Harris County Citizen Corps, Texas Safe School Center’s Texas Youth Preparedness Council, and Scouts BSA. Earl currently resides in Pasadena with his wife Amy and their three sons: Dash, Rocco, and Jet.



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