NEWS: National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military E-News (May)

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May 2017 E-News

From the Directory

Veterans Writing Project believes that every Veteran has a story, but some need help in telling that story.  The Washington DC based non-profit, founded by Veterans and family members, provides no-cost writing seminars and workshops for service members, veterans, and their adult family members.  They are building an archive of writing by the military community, publish a quarterly literary review, and an ongoing scroll of writing on their sister site, O-Dark-Thirty. Read more about founder Ron Capps here

From the Hill:  Federal Advocacy 

Can programs that help the military save the federal arts agencies?  In the face of plans to defund the NEA and the NEH, we must remember that these agencies maintain successful arts based programs that exist to serve our returning service members and Veterans who have sacrificed physically, mentally, and morally in the service of our country.  Read more about these programs and how you can advocate for future funding of the NEA and NEH.

Visit the Arts Mobilization Center for information on the top issues facing the arts today.  Currently trending is "Tax Reform and the Charitable Deduction" and supporting the ACA for artists and arts professionals to receive continued healthcare.

Act now by joining the Arts Action Fund to take political action customized to your location!  Free to join and make your voice heard! 

From the Field

Healing Arts and the Military Health System—Care Coordination and Statistics infographic from the Department of Defense.

NEH Awards $1.4 Million in Grants to Support Veterans through the Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War initiative. Read more here.

Three views of the benefits of the National Endowment of the Arts recent expansion of Creative Forces: Military Healing Arts Network sites.

Ft. Carson, Colorado

UF Center for Arts in Medicine, Gainesville, Florida

Virginia Commission for the Arts:  Joint Expeditionary base, Little Creek, Virginia 

Upcoming Events

Through May 27, Hygenic Art, New London CT—"Journeys Onward," an exhibition of art by Veterans, active servicemembers, and their families.  

May 29Remember to attend a Memorial Day Concert, Ceremony, Art Exhibition, or grave site to remember those that have given their lives in the service of their country.  The ultimate sacrifice still continues! Learn the history of Memorial Day and find ways to support your military communities here.

June 17, Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NY—"VETSROCK" is a tribute to Long Island Veterans featuring the Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton. The Graffiti of War Project will have several "Walls of War" pieces on display.

June 30, Bloomington, MN—National Association of State Women Veteran Coordinators Conference hosted by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.  Read more here

 What We're Reading

"The Stan: Father, Son, Finding Bombs"—Author Dan Talley, US Army Veteran, shares the unique story of serving together with his son in Iraq as part of Taskforce Dagger, cleaning up IEDs by digging for bombs. The subsequent journey of depression, suicidal thoughts, and PTSD are shared with personal insights and revelations. "The Stan" follows the adjustments and experiences of the unspoken emotions, hopes, and dreams common to military families.


"Welcome to FOB Haiku: War Poems from Inside the Wire"—Author Randy Brownembedded with his former Iowa Army National Guard unit as a civilian journalist in Afghanistan, May-June 2011.  He is the current poetry editor of Military Experience and the Arts' "As You Were" literary journal, and a member of the Military Writers Guild. As "Charlie Sherpa," he blogs about military culture at

What We're Watching

"Lessons from a Soldier Turned Comedian"—In this inspirational and engaging Tedx Talk, Isaura Ramirez recounts her experiences as a Latina combat Veteran and adjusting to life both inside and outside the military.  An accomplished comedienne, Ramirez is a former Armed Services Arts Partnership Comedy Bootcamp participant who recently appeared at the 4th National NIAHM Summit and R&R Festival, seeking to educate the public about the unique experiences of women Veterans.  

Combat Hippies—The Miami based Combat Hippies perform excerpts from "Conscience Under Fire" at an independent Tedx event. Led by theater director Teo Castellanos, these Veteran performing artists—Anthony Torres, Andrew Cuthbert, Hipolito Arriaga, and Allen Minor—use spoken word to share their military experience to promote Post-Traumatic Growth through theatrical performances and community events. The Combat Hippies recently performed at the 4th National NIAHM Summit and R&R Festival


May 18 - Storytelling Webinar: Introduction to Digital Storytelling as a Community Arts Practice for Social Change - Americans for the Arts In partnership with StoryCenter

Joining Forces @ the Library: Make your library an inviting place for Veterans and active duty military to connect to resources and the community. The Illinois Library Association is working with the Illinois Humanities Council and other organizations to help libraries reach this important segment of your audience. Check out the toolkit and adult reading list to get started with programming ideas for your local Library!

Get a Veteran Snapshot of your state here Veteran Statistics at

Want more from Americans for the Arts? Check out the services below.
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