National Endowment for the Arts Expands Clinical and Community Elements to Creative Forces Including the Joint Expeditionary Base

The Virginia Commission for the Arts is pleased to announce that Virginia will host a second Creative Forces site at the Joint Expeditionary Base at Little Creek, Virginia. A site and program at Fort Belvoir already exists. The Commission is pleased that our own partnership with the NEA and Americans for the Arts along with the Virginia Veterans and Family Support Services will be able to offer enhanced clinical and community support for our active duty military and veterans and their families.

The role of the arts in helping to heal the signature wounds of our recent wars is significant and expanding. Through its national initiative Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is adding four clinical sites to the existing seven sites that provide creative arts therapies for service members, veterans and families dealing with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The new sites are:

*   Joint Expeditionary Base, Little Creek, Virginia
*   Fort Campbell - Kentucky/Tennessee
*   James A. Haley Veterans Hospital - Tampa, Florida
*   Fort Carson - Colorado

The NEA is building community-based support networks around each of the 11 sites to provide military and veteran families with arts opportunities and a transition from clinic to community for former patients.

"It is a great honor for the National Endowment for the Arts to provide art-based services through Creative Forces initiative to those who have served our nation so courageously and so well," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. "The added sites and activities we announce today will reach more military personnel, veterans, and their families who will find through the arts new avenues for healing and for growth."

Since 2011, the NEA has partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense to support creative arts therapies as a key element of integrated care for service members suffering from TBI, PTSD, and associated psychological health conditions. In fiscal year 2016, Congress appropriated a $1.928 million budget increase for the NEA, specifically to expand this military healing arts program. Joining the network with these new sites as a partner is the Department of Veteran Affairs and Americans for the Arts.
Virginia Director of Veterans and Family Support Services, Betty Ann Liddle commented:
"The Virginia Department of Veteran Services (DVS) is excited to partner in the Creative Forces' clinical and community services expansion in Virginia. This opportunity will ultimately provide Virginia's veterans and service members new and innovative pathways to expressing, understanding, and moving beyond their service related challenges".

Clinical Component

The new clinical sites join an existing Creative Forces network that includes:

*   National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center - Bethesda, Maryland
*   NICoE Intrepid Spirit-1 - Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
*   Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson - Anchorage, Alaska
*   Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton - Oceanside, California
*   Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune - Jacksonville, North Carolina
*   Fort Hood - Killeen, Texas
*   Madigan Army Medical Center - Tacoma, Washington

At each clinical site, NEA funds creative arts therapists and writing instructors, equipment, and supplies. The creative arts therapists are credentialed health professionals that provide art therapy and music therapy to military patients. At some sites, patients may also receive creative writing instruction.

In addition, and for the first time, Creative Forces will offer creative art therapy for families of wounded military personnel in order to build resilience as they all heal together. This work is being piloted at Virginia's other site at Fort Belvoir.

Community Component

To build the community component at each of the 11 sites, Creative Forces will lead efforts to:

*   Establish local military/community networks that can help service members and veterans transition from clinic-based creative arts therapies to arts activities in their communities.
*   Convene local summits where arts, community, and military populations collaborate on strategies to support military and veteran families. The summits also will offer training.
*   Pursue an innovation project in each state that may be adapted to other locations.

The NEA will make available $350,000 to fund the networks' summits and innovation projects, and provide network-wide training and technical support for providers across all Creative Forces sites. Planning is underway for Virginia's Creative Forces Summit, scheduled for June 15th in Virginia Beach.

Margaret Vanderhye, executive director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts explained: "With our innovative funding collaboration between the state and national partners, we look forward to working with the clinical arts therapists at our two Creative Forces expansion sites. Working together, we expect to provide additional training and outreach opportunities for our many arts organizations that are currently offering arts programs for both active duty and veteran populations, and for additional VCA organizations that wish to engage in a more meaningful way in their local communities".

Commissioner Lorita Copeland Daniels, Chair of the VCA Special Constituencies Committee added:
"We look forward to future partnerships and opportunities that assist our military and veterans as they transition from the military life to the civilian life. This transition can sometimes be challenging. One in ten Virginians is a veteran. Our veterans deserve access to resources that can help, and linking these resources to them is an important first step", she concluded.
More information about the June 15th Creative Forces Arts Summit in Virginia Beach will be made available as plans develop. The Summit will explore the best approaches for the innovative national-state partnership to provide resources and support for clinical and community based military and arts programs

Sandler Center

In recent years, Virginia Beach has developed a strong and growing market for the performing arts, and the demand has increased tremendously as more visitors, residents, and businesses are drawn to the area. In 2001, existing regional facilities were limited, lacking the optimal size, quality, and functionality to meet the needs of current and potential tenants. Emerging and long-standing local arts organizations desperately wanted access to well-equipped facilities with rehearsal and teaching spaces, reservation scheduling, and reasonable rental rates. It soon became apparent to the Virginia Beach City Council that the city needed its own cultural center, and the Council began its plans to replace the 1000-seat Pavilion Theatre with a facility deemed "equal or better." After 6 diligent years, the city completed its architectural masterpiece. The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts was dedicated in November of 2007, and is now not only heralded as one of the region's most stunning structures, but also among the nation's most acoustically sound venues for the arts. Courtesy of [http://www.sandlercenter.org/]

Virginia Arts Festival

The mission of the Virginia Arts Festival is to bring world-class performing arts to our citizens and visitors, impact the lives of students through outstanding educational programs, commission new works of national and international significance, and make a tangible difference in Hampton Roads through regional partnerships and positive economic impact through the generation of cultural tourism. Courtesy of [https://www.virginia.org/VAArtsfestival/]

The Boardwalk Art Show

The Boardwalk Art Show is produced by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), a museum and arts organization that evolved from the art show itself. The show is nationally recognized from small beginnings in 1952 that to date attracts over 700 applications every year from artists around the country representing 13 fine art and contemporary craft mediums. More than 250 artists and 250,000 tourists and locals attend the show that spans nearly 15 blocks along the Atlantic Ocean at the Virginia Beach oceanfront from 20th Street to 35th Street. This beautiful atmosphere is the perfect backdrop for public displays of art, fine food, live entertainment and a great vacation. Courtesy of [http://www.virginiamoca.org/about-moca]