News Release, National Endowment for the Arts

Washington, DCThe National Endowment for the Arts is launching the next phase of Creative Forces®by funding Community Connections projects at 10 Creative Forces sites to develop community-based arts programs for military populations. These projects use the creative and healing benefits of the arts to promote health and wellness among service members and veterans as well as their families and caregivers. Each project receives up to $50,000 to create its own programming and materials.

“Serving our military who have served us honorably is a privilege for the National Endowment for the Arts,” said Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “By further understanding how the arts improve health and well-being, we will help enrich the lives of our military personnel and veterans around the nation.”

Community Connections projects are a result of arts and military summits held at Creative Forces locations from 2017 to 2018 that brought together local arts and military communities. Those events built bridges between those two communities and helped to establish support networks that assist with a successful transition from medical treatment to civilian life through arts practices. Community Connections projects respond to the lessons learned, relationships forged, and needs identified at those summits. 

Creative Forces sites hosting Community Connections projects are Anchorage, Alaska; San Diego County, California; Fort Carson and Colorado Springs, Colorado; Tampa, Florida; Bethesda, Maryland; Jacksonville, North Carolina; Killeen, Texas; Tacoma and Olympia, Washington; Fort Belvoir and Portsmouth, Virginia; and Tacoma and Olympia, Washington.

Creative arts therapist Danielle Vetro Kalseth performs with Staff Sergeant Cory Sheldon as part of the Creative Forces Summit at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska in February 2017. Photo by Michael Conti.

Each project is distinct, reflecting the needs and assets of the different locations. Projects will include documentation of their progress and generate materials to be placed in an online National Resource Center that will be accessible to others interested in developing their own arts and military programming.

Project descriptions are here.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...