Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network
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.
Explore the Creative Forces National Resource Center to learn how the initiative places creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care at clinical sites throughout the country, including telehealth services; increases access to community arts engagement activities; and supports associated research.
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The impact of healing through the arts is measurable and momentous. The Creative Forces network is committed to improving the well-being of service members, veterans, and their families through creativity and community.
Creative Forces: Healing the Invisible Wounds of War
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.
The impacts of the healing arts are highly personal. The benefits of building community and expressing creativity are seen every day in the improved well-being of our participants. Read the National Endowment for the Arts’ collection of Veterans’ Voices stories.
When I take ukulele and guitar lessons with the Creative Forces Veterans Workshops I feel like I'm doing something important. I know that it's improving the connection between my mind and body. I know that it's improving my spirit and my mood. And while it has always increased my sense of community, it does so now more than ever."- D.G., veteran, U.S. Army
I used music to bypass the injured sections of my brain and to stimulate other pathways in my healing process.”- Michael Schneider
Art and music are very soothing activities which keep our minds and hands busy, thus relieving some tension and allowing us to open up to some other topics.”- Marcie McCammond
Music provides a buffer zone where I can feel more comfortable sharing things with others that are difficult to discuss in conversation.”- Anthony Mannino
Find information and tools for engaging with the military through the arts in these curated collections of resources from the Creative Forces Resource Library.