The 2013 Americans for the Arts National Arts Policy Roundtable convened on September 19–21, 2013 at the Sundance Resort and Preserve in partnership with the Sundance Institute.  Its participants, who came from a variety of sectors, gathered to discuss ways in which the arts can assist individuals and communities—working in partnership with foundations, business, and government entities—to develop locally based solutions.

The 2013 topic, Arts and Healing: Body, Mind, and Community examined how the arts can play an important role in the rehabilitation of those who have experienced both mental and physical traumas, including our nations wounded warriors.   Participants also discussed how the arts have been a proven driver in the healing of communities in need and through that process have helped to foster creative placemaking in communities throughout the world.

Our goal was to generate specific, actionable policy recommendations—and to extend them to the appropriate leaders in both the public and private sectors.

The following recommendations are the result, and action toward change has already begun:

1. Develop both a one-year plan and a long-term plan for professional training and development from the Department of Veterans Affairs in the area of arts and healing for the military.

2. Identify and establish key partners among healthcare organizations such as the Cleveland Clinic and the Global Alliance for Arts & Health.

3. Undertake a systematic literature review to demonstrate, through scientific evidence, hard data and measurable results, the cost benefits of arts’ capacity to facilitate healing and prevention.

4. Create an advocacy campaign aimed at doctors and hospital leaders to win over critical stakeholders. Focus on activity, storytelling and actions, rather than defining and defending art.

5. Invite digital arts leaders from companies such as Google and Yahoo to the arts and healing conversation and utilize social media channels such as You Tube, as well as traditional media outlets, such as NPR, to spread the word.

6. Work with the military to establish cultural awareness training that will prepare our service members for the experiences they will encounter during deployment, while setting the stage for better interactions between service members and local civilians.

We are pleased to share with you the full results of our efforts at the 2013 Americans for the Arts National Arts Policy Roundtable. It is our hope that through ongoing conversations and commitment to making a difference, the work of artists who strive to improve the fabric of society will continue to be better understood, nurtured, and advanced:

Americans for the Arts gratefully acknowledges the NAMM Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Ruth Lilly Fund of Americans for the Arts for support of the 2013 National Arts Policy Roundtable.