Creative Forces: Healing Arts Network comes to Tidewater

One in ten Virginians is a veteran who has made significant sacrifices to preserve our safety and freedoms.  Since the inception of Tidewater Arts Outreach, we have acted on our patriotic duty to assist those who have served us by utilizing our talents and resources to help service members build paths to wellness and healing.

Nearly fifty local artists have participated in more than one hundred US Service-related outreach programs with Tidewater Arts Outreach since 2007. 

Tidewater Arts Outreach programs:

We are excited to be involved in a new initiative for arts and healing in Hampton Roads.

Creative Forces:  The NEA Military Healing Arts Network is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, and state and local arts agencies.  The initiative is funding creative arts therapies programs at eleven clinical sites across that nation, one of which is in the Hampton Roads region.  In addition, Creative Forces is building a military and veteran family support network made up of state, regional and local partners to provide community-based arts activities for military members, veterans and their families.

At a February 2017 military caucus in Richmond, art therapy was reported to be the third most requested therapeutic intervention at Walter Reed.  It is also one of the least expensive to administer, among the 40-plus therapies offered.

The Virginia Arts Commission is convening a group of local arts and armed services community members at The Sandler Center this Thursday to discuss Creative Forces programming in Hampton Roads.

As a local charity that convenes community members in service of others through the healing arts, we applaud the NEA’s Creative Forces Healing Arts Network initiative and look forward to contributing our expertise and community connections.  There is need.  There is potential.  There is a great deal we can do together to improve quality of life and strengthen our community’s fabric.