Arts and the Military
The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities have created strategic partnerships in order to develop arts programming that directly benefits veterans and active duty military.
The NEA and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center have formed the NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership to explore how creative arts therapy and arts engagement programs can improve health and well-being in military healthcare settings. This includes music and writing therapy for troops, including patients at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), a DoD institute dedicated to providing cutting-edge evaluation, treatment planning, research and education for service members and their families dealing with the complex interactions of the signature wounds from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and psychological health conditions.
More about the NEA and the Military can be found here.
Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across America. First launched in the summer of 2010, Blue Star Museums offers free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Partially funded by the NEH, Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives gives veterans and military family members the opportunity to share their stories and explore catharsis through performances and discussions of ancient Greek drama. Aquila Theatre (New York) created Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives, which toured 100 public libraries, community centers, and art venues around the country performing ancient Greek plays and holding town-hall style discussions for veterans, their families, and the general public.
The 100 Faces of War Experience focuses on interpreting members of the military’s experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan through portraiture and short personal narratives. Artist Matthew Mitchell, a civilian who wanted to better connect with veterans, commissioned 100 paintings of different members of the armed forces and their families to describe their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. The project is ongoing—currently, Mitchell has completed 58 of the 100 paintings, all of which travel across the country as part of an exhibit. The 100 Faces of War Experience is partially funded by the Massachusetts Humanities Council, Mass Humanities, which receives funding from the NEH.