The Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants aim to make a difference in military connected communities, through support of arts engagement activities designed to cultivate creative expression, increase social connectedness, improve resilience, and support successful adaptation to civilian life. The inaugural grantees are engaging their local and regional communities in art-making experiences that include a variety of artistic disciplines.
In 2020, COVID quickly changed the landscape of arts programming. Workshops, performances, and classes took place on screen rather than in person. As we navigate a new arts engagement landscape, it’s important to reflect on what this experience taught us and how it can inform our path forward. Discover key lessons learned by arts organizations who implemented Creative Forces Community Connections Projects during COVID.
Partnership, Collaboration, and Outreach – taken together, these elements form critical infrastructure for community-based projects serving military-connected populations. This blog explores relationships and collaboration, both within community projects and with clinical partners, as keys to effective programs.
Recently the National Endowment for the Arts launched the new Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants. The NEA developed this grant opportunity in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), and M-AAA also manages the grant program. Christine Bial, M-AAA’s director of arts & humanities grant programs, spoke to us about this funding opportunity and what areas potential applicants should consider as they put together a proposal.
May 21, 2020 National Endowment for the Arts' Artswork Blog authored by Community Connections Manager discussing the adaptations of the Creative Forces community network in response to COVID-19 in Spring of 2020. Image credit: Glen McCarthy teaches a guitar/ukelele workshop to military-connected participants over Facebook Live for George Mason University as part of an online Creative Forces Community Connections project. Photo courtesy of Dr. Niyati S. Dhokai, Veterans' Arts Initiative, George Mason University.