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Working on the Spirit and the Mind: The Healing Power of the Arts

Description

About this issue: 

At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe the arts have a unique ability to heal. Our investments reflect this belief: Over the past decade, the Arts Endowment has awarded $4.85 million in healing arts projects, which range from improving cognition and socialization of older adults through songwriting workshops, to mitigating the invisible wounds of war in service members and veterans through creative arts therapy. 

But we also know the arts can be a source of social healing, bridging divides among neighbors, and providing solace for communities ravaged by trauma. This is why we historically offer support following natural and man-made disasters, and why many of our projects take place in communities touched by challenges such as poverty, violence, or addiction.

Whether we are talking about individuals or communities, physically or emotionally, we know the arts have an important role in healing across the spectrum. In this issue of NEA Arts, we look forward to sharing the many ways the Arts Endowment promotes the good health and well-being of our nation.

Mary Anne Carter
Acting Chairman
National Endowment for the Arts

Topic
Community Arts Engagement
Creative Arts Therapies
Vol/Issue
2019/No 1
Posted
Media Types
Publications and Presentations
2

So Say We All Popup (CA)

Description

This image captures Jason Danley, USN FMF Corpsman with 3/4 India Company out of 29 Palms with Barbara at the April 2019 So Say We All popup located at a brewery as part of the California Community Connections demonstration project. 

Authors
Christina Danley
Topic
Community Arts Engagement
Posted
Media Types
Image
3
4

History, Impact and Future of Clinical Activities

Description

July 2020 20 min video interview with Sr. Medical Military Advisory Sara Kass by Aimee Fullman Director of the National Resource Center.

Authors
Creative Forces National Resource Center
Topic
Creative Arts Therapies
Creative Forces Clinical Research
Posted
Media Types
Video
5

Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network Video

Description

American troops dedicate their lives and make incredible sacrifices to preserve our safety and freedom.

Supporting a successful transition back into society, especially for those who have been injured as a result of their service, has been the focus of a healing arts partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Department of Defense since 2011.

Topic
Community Arts Engagement
Creative Arts Therapies
Posted
Media Types
Video
6

Advances in Creative Forces® Clinical Research and Applications of the Creative Arts Therapies for Treating PTSD and TBI in Military-Connected Populations

Description

Compelling preliminary evidence put forth by Creative Forces research supports use of the creative arts therapies in promoting rehabilitation and recovery for military and veteran populations exposed to trauma. To date, the 19 studies published by Creative Forces Network-affiliated researchers provide preliminary support for using creative arts therapies. Together, the findings justify continued growth of the program so that the nation’s military personnel, and families and caregivers, receive greater access to these therapies, as informed by best practices. This article was prepared for and published on the Creative Forces National Resource Center on July 15, 2020. Individual sections on: I. Creative Arts Therapies PTSD and TBI Research, II. Creative Forces Clinical Research, III. Arts Therapy, IV. Music Therapy, V. Telehealth, and VI. Conclusion can be found under Insights.

Topic
Art Therapy
Creative Arts Therapies
Creative Forces Clinical Research
Dance/Movement Therapy
Music Therapy
Telearts and Telehealth Engagement
Therapeutic Writing
Posted
Media Types
Lit Review
White Papers
7

Active-Duty Military Service Members’ Visual Representations of PTSD and TBI in Masks

Description

Article authored by Creative Forces creative arts therapists. Open access provided by Creative Forces.

"Active-duty military service members have a significant risk of sustaining physical and psychological trauma resulting in traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Within an interdisciplinary treatment approach at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, service members participated in mask making during art therapy sessions. This study presents an analysis of the mask-making experiences of service members (n = 370) with persistent symptoms from combat- and mission-related TBI, PTSD, and other concurrent mood issues. Data sources included mask images and therapist notes collected over a five-year period. The data were coded and analyzed using grounded theory methods. Findings indicated that mask making offered visual representations of the self related to individual personhood, relationships, community, and society. Imagery themes referenced the injury, relational supports/losses, identity transitions/questions, cultural metaphors, existential reflections, and conflicted sense of self. These visual insights provided an increased understanding of the experiences of service members, facilitating their recovery."

Authors
Walker, M.
Kaimal, G.
Gonzaga, A. M. L.
Myers-Coffman, K. A.
DeGraba, T. J.
Publisher
Topic
Art Therapy
Creative Forces Clinical Research
Vol/Issue
12/1
Posted
Media Types
Journal Article