Since 2011, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to support creative arts therapies as a key element of integrated care for service members suffering from TBI, PTSD, and associated psychological health conditions. The program began at National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) Walter Reed, MD.
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. Americans for the Arts is working with the NEA to provide administrative support and the Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland is giving programmatic support. This year, the NEA expanded the network to include:
- Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Anchorage, Alaska
- Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton – Oceanside, California
- National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center – Bethesda, Maryland
- Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune – Jacksonville, North Carolina
- Fort Hood – Killeen, Texas
- Fort Belvoir Community Hospital – Fort Belvoir, Virginia
- Madigan Army Medical Center – Tacoma, Washington
- Joint Expeditionary Base - Little Creek, Virginia
- Fort Campbell - Kentucky
- James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital - Tampa, Florida
- Fort Carson - Colorado
Around the clinical sites, the NEA is creating a community-based military and veteran family support network made up of state, regional, and local arts agencies, and other local partners. The community network provides increased arts opportunities for military and veteran family populations and extends support for current and former creative arts therapies patients and their families as they transition from treatment in a clinical setting to arts programming in their community.
ArtsWA is working with the NEA, the DOD, Madigan Army Medical Center, Americans for the Arts, and many community partners to support the NEA's Creative Forces program in Washington State.