The National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military advances the arts in health, healing, and healthcare for military service members, veterans, their families, and caregivers. Working across military, government, private, and nonproft sector the goals of the National Initiative are to:
- Advance the policy, practice, and quality use of arts and creativity as tools for health in the military;
- Raise visibility, understanding, and support of arts and health in the military; and
- Make the arts as tools for health available to all active duty military, staff, family members, and veterans.
The National Initiative is co-Chaired by Americans for the Arts and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), in partnership with a National Steering Committee comprised of federal agency, military, nonprofit, and private sector partners. Together they work to:
- Encourage further cooperation within arts, military, and health fields;
- Enhance communication between beneficiaries and providers;
- Promote greater visibility of the importance of the arts to military health and wellness, and;
- Engage with leaders across agencies and sectors in the development of policies that support Initiative goals.
The United States Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution in June 2013 in support of Arts & Heath in the Military.
The National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military was launched in January, 2012, following the success of the first National Summit: Arts in Healing for Warriors at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) in October, 2011. Hosted by Rear Admiral Alton L. Stocks, in partnership with a national planning group of military, government, and nonprofit leaders, the Summit marked the first time various branches of the military collaborated with civilian agencies on a national scale to discuss how engaging with the arts provide opportunities to meet the key health issues our military faces—from pre-deployment to deployment to homecoming.