Outcomes for Organizations
As part of the Community Connections Projects Study, organizations conducting Community Connections projects, as well as their local partners, reported greater visibility in their communities as a result of this work. Through networks and partnering, they became more aware of other local programs serving military-connected populations and developed relationships with arts, clinical, and/or community organizations. Depending on the program, partnerships allowed organizations to reach more and different participants and provided more opportunities for referrals.
Partner organizations also reported developing knowledge of and increasing their commitment to working with military-connected populations through arts engagement. Learn more below about the four outcomes Community Connections organizations reported that will enhance their ability to serve military-connected individuals in the future. Discover more about the projects here.
Increased Capacity and Commitment in Serving Military-Connected Communities
"This is opening the door to create the access and outreach in our community. We are building a bridge and we are able to serve our military community." - Community Connections partner
Across Community Connections partners, personnel noted that they had a refreshed commitment to working with military-connected individuals. Further, some organizations and partners expanded their projects to specifically work with military-connected individuals, and this was a new population for them. These organizations learned about the transferability of their existing approaches to working with military-connected individuals and expressed a commitment to continue working with the target population.
Community Connections partners noted that they increased their capacity and awareness for working with military-connected individuals. They explained that the partnership helped them understand military culture, and they felt better equipped to work with that community in the future. This understanding was a result of training and capacity building that occurred across partnerships, by developing relationships with military-connected individuals, and by working with the local veterans service organization. One program partner explained, "Before this project, we worked with populations experiencing trauma, but not specifically with veterans. Because of our partnership and working with other organizations, we learned more about the military, and we have been able to serve that population."
Improved Communication with Clinical Providers
“There is a better connection between our clinic providers, and they are making referrals to the community. They are seeing this as a way to help their patients and to get them out of the patient role into the empowered role.” - Community Connections partner
Community Connections partners also said the program changed the way their organizations worked with military clinics. For example, an arts organization previously sent fliers to a clinic about workshops. However, they now understand the importance of face-to-face contact, meeting with clinic personnel, and providing direct information to military-connected populations. They also believe these efforts helped clinic providers gain confidence in arts organizations and their ability to work with the military population. These stronger relationships are resulting in an increased number of participants in community programs.
Improved Collaboration Among Arts Organizations
“From my perspective, there is more cohesion within the community arts organizations. They are working together and are no longer competitive. They are successful when they work collaboratively, and this is boosting their strength.” - Director of a Community Connections partner
Community Connections partners noted that the project changed the ways in which arts organizations interacted with one another. As networking, collaboration, and trust grew, they reported less competition among organizations. Several leaders acknowledged that they grew more comfortable referring participants to another organization if they had an interest in a different art experience.
Increased Community Awareness of the Benefits of the Arts
“I believe our community is developing an understanding of the arts and of our military population. Our attendance has continued to grow.” - Director, Community Connections partner
As a result of the Community Connections projects, some partners expressed that their local community was developing an understanding of the arts and the military. This occurred as a result of pop-up cafés, exhibitions, and performances. A Community Connections partner director commented, “I don’t know how you measure this, but I believe the community knows more about us. They have more knowledge.”