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NEA announces grants for military-connected individuals

Creative Forces partnership supports military, veteran communities

The National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance, is pleased to announce the launch of a new grant program as part of Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network.

The Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants will support arts engagement programming for military and veteran populations and family members, providing opportunities for creative expression and strengthening resilience. Creative Forces is an NEA initiative in partnership with the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs which 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 deadline to apply for these new grants is December 15, 2021. “This national grant program furthers the work of the NEA Creative Forces initiative in recognizing the important role that the arts can play in supporting our nation’s military and Veteran communities,” said Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough. “I was recently able to see first-hand the benefit of creative arts therapies in a Veterans’ hospital and I look forward to seeing how artists and community arts organizations will utilize creative arts programming to contribute to the health and well-being of their local military and Veterans, as well as their families and caregivers.” The Creative Forces Community Engagement grant programs will serve a broad military-connected population, including active-duty service members, guardsmen, reservists, veterans, military and veteran families, as well as caregivers and healthcare workers providing care for military service members and veterans. The aim of these grants is to expand programming into the community and address the distinct experiences, challenges, and strengths of military and veteran families, care providers, and veteran populations. Watch a short video about the grant program. “Our military service members and their families have sacrificed to protect and defend the freedom of our nation,” said Ann Eilers, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “The projects supported by this grant program will recognize that arts engagement can provide a powerful outlet for fostering community and personal connections. We are pleased to be working with Mid-America Arts Alliance to develop and manage this new program.” Creative Forces Community Engagement projects will require at least one partner; and be led by or include at least one organization with a history of creative or artistic programming. Partnerships among arts organizations and veteran and military service organizations are highly encouraged. Funding will support projects beginning on or after July 1, 2022. Awards of $10,000 - $50,000 will be available in two tiers:

The emerging grant tier

  • Provides support for eligible organizations to develop and implement new or emerging nonclinical arts engagement programs for military-connected populations or for small organizations
  • Matching grant amount: up to $10,000 for one-year projects

The advanced grant tier

  • Provides support for eligible organizations with established military-related non-clinical arts programming
  • Matching grant amounts: $10,000 - $25,000 for one-year projects or up to $50,000 for two-year projects
"Through projects Mid-America Arts Alliance has funded and experienced in our region, we have seen the tremendous ability for the arts to make social connections and foster resiliency with members of the armed forces, veterans, and their families, among others," said Todd Stein, President and CEO of Mid-America Arts Alliance. "The Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants seek to promote creativity, health, and healing with military-connected populations across the country.” Mid-America Arts Alliance will host a webinar for potential applicants on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. In addition, research and resources are available in the online Creative Forces National Resource Center to support the practice of arts engagement with the military community. Resources for community arts providers include key findings on impacts and lessons learned from community arts engagement pilot projects funded by Creative Forces between 2018-2020, as well as information on serving military connected populations. For the complete guidelines and to apply for a Creative Forces Community Engagement grant, visit www.maaa.org/creativeforces.

About the Creative Forces Initiative

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. The initiative 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. Creative Forces is managed in partnership with Americans for the Arts, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, and Mid-America Arts Alliance. More information, including clinical-based activities and research, can be found at arts.gov/creativeforces.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.

About Mid-America Arts Alliance

Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout our region and beyond. Additional information about M-AAA is available at https://www.maaa.org/.

Jason Rapp

Arts provide healing touch to war-time trauma

Join the NEA for a webinar

South Carolina's ties to the U.S. Armed Forces run deep.

Generations of airmen, Marines, sailors, and soldiers have trained or been stationed here, and a robust population on veterans of every branch calls our state home. And so The Hub happily shares this blurb from the National Endowment for the Arts knowing it's relevant to many of our constituents:

Join Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network on June 25, 2021, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET for a webinar exploring how creative arts therapies can help heal war-time trauma. The webinar will focus on the National Endowment for the Arts’ recent online exhibition Creative Forces: Healing the Invisible Wounds of War. Special guest Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma, will join a discussion with retired Navy Capt. Robert Koffman, creative arts therapists, and veterans who have participated in the Creative Forces program and contributed artwork to the exhibition.

American Sign Language interpretation and closed captioning will be provided. Visit the Creative Forces National Resource Center for more information and to register.


Jason Rapp

Verner Award recipient Mary Whyte releases portrait book

We the People hits just in time for Veterans Day

Internationally acclaimed watercolor artist Mary Whyte, a 2013 recipient of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the arts, has a poignant new collection of watercolor portraits being released just in time for Veterans Day this coming Monday. Cover image of We the People: Portrait of Veterans in America by Mary WhyteWe the People: Portraits of American Veterans, is just available through University of South Carolina Press. The collection of watercolor portraits of military veterans from each of the 50 states: men and women from all walks of life and every branch of the military. This moving tribute by Whyte captures the dedication, responsibility, and courage of these true patriots, instilling in us a greater sense of gratitude for their willingness to sacrifice their own lives to protect the hard-earned freedom we all enjoy. Mary Whyte is a Charleston based artist and author whose watercolor paintings have earned international recognition. Her works have been exhibited in galleries and museums and featured in publications nationally and internationally. Whyte is the author of five books including Working South and Down Bohicket Road. She is the recipient of the Portrait Society of America’s Gold Medal and the Verner Award, South Carolina’s highest honor in the arts. CBS "Sunday Morning" viewers will get to see an interview with Whyte this coming Sunday, and she is to appear Thursday, Nov. 14 on SCETV's "Palmetto Scene." An exhibition of the 50 portraits is running through Dec. 22 at City Gallery in Charleston. The Post and Courier called the collection "a feat of artistry." It will go on a national tour in the new year. [caption id="attachment_42649" align="aligncenter" width="600"]"Family," single mother, watercolor on paper, 29 x 27.5 inches, 2018. "Family," single mother, watercolor on paper, 29 x 27.5 inches, 2018. Tanya, Hanahan, SC, Marines E-4, 2006-2009[/caption]  

Art therapy helping veterans

Creative arts therapy plays increasing role in standard of care for patients in military settings

The National Endowment for the Arts expands its landmark arts partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense to bring music therapy to patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center including patients at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) located on the campus of Walter Reed Bethesda. This new music therapy component of the NEA's Operation Homecoming program reflects the growing use of creative arts therapy programs in healthcare settings. The NEA and Walter Reed have extended their commitment to partner on these efforts through 2015.
"The NEA is proud to join with the U.S. Department of Defense to significantly expand our mutual commitment to investigate how art works to help heal our wounded warriors who have sacrificed so much in service of our country," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "The NEA is honored that this partnership will help design and test neurologic music therapy programs for our service men and women being treated at Walter Reed."
The neurologic music therapy component at the NICoE joins the existing Operation Homecoming creative writing program for wounded warriors which launched in December 2011. Since then, more than 150 active duty military and their family members have taken part in writing workshops in both clinical and non-clinical settings, led by combat veteran and author Ron Capps, with programmatic support from The Writer's Center. Both activities complement a visual arts therapy program for patients, and all of the creative art therapies are integrated with the NICoE's unique array of alternative and conventional clinical treatments for patients. Operation Homecoming is a partnership between the NEA and the Department of Defense, first created in 2004 to help U.S. troops and their families write about their wartime experiences in Afghanistan, Iraq, and stateside. It is one of several programs the NEA has created to bring quality arts programs to the military, veterans, and their families. For more details, visit the NEA website. Via: National Endowment for the Arts Mask photo courtesy of the NICoE Healing Arts Program