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November 10, 2022

JFKIAT Collaborates with CreatiVets to Honor Veterans at JFK’S Terminal 4 through Powerful Musical Performance

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Musical performance highlights the journeys and stories of local veterans at Terminal 4, and marks the beginning of an ongoing program that will spotlight veterans

Queens, New York – November 10, 2022 Ahead of Veterans Day, Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport set the stage for a powerful musical performance spotlighting veterans at the terminal and their journeys. The event marks the beginning of a special collaboration between JFKIAT – the operator of Terminal 4 at JFK – and CreatiVets, an organization that offers opportunities for relief and healing for veterans through the use of various forms of art.

Local New Yorkers and members of the Terminal 4 community gathered for the celebration, which was performed by Tommy Karlas and Daniel Smalley and recognized 32 veterans from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration, ABM Industries, and JFKIAT.

JFKIAT put out a call to all veterans at Terminal 4 for anyone who was interested in being a part of this new program. The participating veterans engaged in collaborative sessions with CreatiVets, where they listened to songs created by other veterans as they journaled their personal stories and experiences. Following the engaging workshops, CreatiVets produced a compelling song featuring elements of each veteran’s story, that was delivered in a moving performance during the Veterans Day celebration. After the musical performance a group portrait of the veterans captured by photographer Jason Myers and assisted by Laurel Higman was unveiled.

“This is a very special program that shines a light on these amazing veterans and their incredible stories, and we are proud to honor those who served our country through this initiative with CreatiVets,” said Roel Huinink, President & CEO of JFKIAT. “As part of our commitment to supporting and celebrating our local community, we look forward to our ongoing collaboration with CreatiVets to spotlight veterans in Terminal 4 throughout the year, and we encourage all passengers to view the portraits and listen to the compelling songs while traveling through our terminal.”

This event marked the launch of a new collaboration between JFKIAT and CreatiVets. On an ongoing basis, Terminal 4 will showcase portraits of other veterans from CreatiVets, which will include QR codes for travelers to listen to the songs they created, which are based on their stories.

“We are very excited to have this art installation in JFK Airport. We are always looking for ways to bridge the veteran/civilian divide, and this is a great way to give civilians a glimpse of what veterans are dealing with after coming home from protecting our country,” said CreatiVets Program Director Brett Gillan. “We also hope that veterans will see this exhibit and know they are not alone in their thoughts and feelings after coming home from war and will ultimately apply for a CreatiVets program.”

CreatiVets’ mission is to provide opportunities for relief and healing for the men and women who have devoted themselves to serving this country. Its purpose is to use various forms of art, such as songwriting, visual arts, music, and creative writing, to help disabled veterans cope with service-related trauma – including post-traumatic stress, or PTS – by fostering self-expression in a way that allows them to transform their stories of trauma and struggle into a form of art that can inspire and motivate continued healing.


JFK International Air Terminal, LLC. (JFKIAT) is the operator of Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, one of the most active air terminals in the New York area, serving 23 international and domestic airlines with an annual passenger volume of more than 21 million travelers in 2019. In 2017 Terminal 4 became the first existing airport terminal in the U.S. to receive LEED Gold certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for operations and maintenance, and in 2022 it became the first air terminal in the U.S. to receive Platinum recognition for pre-existing air terminals. The Terminal’s expansive Retail Lounge offers an unparalleled experience for travelers with a wide range of food and beverage and retail options, from chic to upscale and from convenience stores, to electronics, accessories, and gifts. Terminal 4 was the first air terminal in North America operated by a private management company. JFKIAT’s managing member is Schiphol USA Inc., a U.S. affiliate of Royal Schiphol Group.

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Contact:     Jennifer Golia


(212) 402-3492

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