NEA and DoD Launch Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Today, at an event held at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), part of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) announced the expansion of their partnership and military healing arts program into Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network.
The Creative Forces program places creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care at ten additional clinical sites by 2017—for a total of twelve sites—and increases access to therapeutic arts activities in local communities for military members, veterans, and their families. The program also is investing in research on the impacts and benefits of these innovative treatment methods. Americans for the Arts is working with the NEA to provide administrative support for Creative Forces.
Since 2011, this NEA/DoD military healing arts partnership has supported creative arts therapies for service members with traumatic brain injury and associated psychological health issues at two military medical facilities in the Washington, DC, area—the NICoE at Walter Reed, and the NICoE Intrepid Spirit-1 at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. President Obama and Congress recognized the success of the program at these facilities, and believed it could do more. In fiscal year 2016, Congress appropriated a $1.928 million budget increase for the NEA, specifically allocated to expand this military healing arts program.
Creative Forces extends creative arts therapies to ten additional locations by 2017. The NEA is providing funding for creative arts therapists, including, but not limited to, art and music therapists and creative writing instructors, as well as program support at these locations. As of today, five new clinical sites, in addition to Walter Reed and Fort Belvoir, will join Creative Forces, including Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska; Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California; Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina; Fort Hood in Texas; and Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington.
The NEA also is working closely with a network of arts agencies and nonprofit partners to develop community-based arts programs in each state where clinical sites are located; creating an online toolkit and resources to help communities best support veterans and families; and investing in research on arts-based interventions.
Americans for the Arts serves, advances, and leads the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America. Founded in 1960, Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.