The Creative Forces Summit being held in Tampa today and tomorrow is being held in conjunction with the addition of the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital as part of the NEA Military Healing Arts Network. Jane Chu, chair of the NEA, opened this morning’s session with an inspiring address about the importance of the network, which serves the unique and special needs of military patients and veterans who have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health conditions (PTSD), as well as their families and caregivers. This national network of care is intended to care for injured service members, whether they are active duty or veterans, in medical treatment or transitioning back home to their bases and communities.
Made possible by a unique collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, and state arts agencies, Creative Forces is a network of caring people who believe in the transformative and restorative powers of art.
The program has three components: Creative Forces places creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care in military medical facilities such as James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, as well as a telehealth program for patients in rural and remote areas; provides increased community-based arts opportunities for military and veteran family populations around clinical site locations; and invests in capacity-building efforts, including the development of manuals, training, and research on the impacts and benefits of the treatment methods.
Attendees at the summit will learn and discuss strategies to increase access to therapeutic arts activities for military personnel and their families in local communities.