Telling The Story: Richard Casper

Telling the Story: Lecture Presentation

Deanna Walker, director

September 11th, 2024 @ 7:30pm

Turner Hall, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN


Richard Casper, Marine Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, is a celebrated artist and co-founder of CreatiVets, recognized as a CNN Hero and TIME next generation leader for transforming veterans’ lives through art and music. CreatiVets is a non-profit that empowers wounded veterans with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries to heal through art and music. 

Richard was named a CNN Hero in 2022 and one of TIME magazine’s Next Generation Leaders in 2017. He is the feature of TIME’s documentary Evidence of Things Unseen, where he was recognized by President George W. Bush for his life changing work with veterans. In 2018 he was one of thirty-three scholars chosen to be in the Bush Institutes inaugural Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program.

Richard served in the USMC from 2003-2007. During the first portion of his enlistment, Casper served as Presidential Guard at Camp David. Later in 2006-2007 during his tour in Iraq, Richard survived four IED blasts which left him with a left-traumatic brain injury and witnessed the death of his friend which caused his post-traumatic stress. After nearly giving up, he discovered art and song-writing as therapeutic forms of expression, and went on to attend and graduate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he got the idea for CreatiVets. 

Richard has taught art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Virginia Commonwealth University, Belmont University, and the University of Southern California. He is a keynote speaker, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He resides in Nashville TN with his wife Ashley and son Barrett.


Richard is a dynamic and innovative leader with a unique and powerful life force that has allowed him to successfully use music as a bridge to healing and transformation.  He’s created intersections that connect musicians directly with communities in a way that impacts healing AND economics, generates art, and creates measurable results. 

This event would ask the multi-level question: How do we apply this model to various styles of music-making to reach and help targeted populations? What could we be inspired to do with our skills once we see what’s been done?