Yesterday, we in the United States paused to honor and mourn the U.S. military personnel who died while serving in the Armed Forces. In our country, we have also fostered and supported arts initiatives that benefit living members of the military suffering from the effects of their service.
Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs that seeks to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for military and veteran populations exposed to trauma, as well as their families and caregivers.
The program places creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care at clinical sites throughout the country, including telehealth services, and increases access to community arts activities to promote health, well-being and quality of life for military service members, veterans, and their families and caregivers. Creative Forces is managed in partnership with Americans for the Arts, Civic Arts, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, and Mid-America Arts Alliance.
There is a growing need in our country to address Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Research shows that in the United States an estimated 2.8 million people sustain a TBI annually and eight million have PTSD. More than 400,000 men and women of our armed services have been diagnosed with TBI since 2000 and 11-20 percent of all veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD in a given year. Creative arts therapies have helped service members deal with trauma as part of an integrated care model. And when they return home, these interventions make a difference in people’s lives that medicine alone could not achieve.
Creative Forces: Healing the Invisible Wounds of War is an interactive exhibition of 45 pieces of visual art, music, and performances by military service members and veterans who are current or former participants in the Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. The exhibition also includes first-person accounts from the artists about their experiences with creative arts therapies and the effects of these treatments on their lives.
Here are links to:
Visit the exhibition
Read the National Endowment for the Arts Press Release
Watch the June 2021 webinar discussion on Healing the Invisible Wounds of War
All of this information is taken from the website of the National Endowment for the Arts where you can visit to learn more.
All my best,