The National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military just released a new Arts & Military White Paper on "Arts, Health, and Wellbeing across the Military Continuum." Smith Center is among the 15 leaders who joined Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and Americans for the Arts in the initiative, which launched in January, 2012.
The arts have proven to be effective in improving the health and wellbeing of military members and their families. The military has begun to turn to the arts to respond to urgent physical and psychological needs that veterans are having as they return from war. Arts can be effective in promoting readiness, resilience, and retention for these service members, as well as helping them reintegrate back into life after war.
The leadership committee has met several times since the hugely successful National Summit on Arts in Healing in November, 2012. The National Initiative was formed to ensure that progress continues, with a mission to advance the arts in health, healing, and healthcare for military service members, veterans, their families, and their caregivers. Specific goals include:
- Advance the policy, practice, and quality use of arts and creativity as tools for health in the military;
- Raise visibility, understanding, and support of arts and health in the military; and
- Make the arts as tools for health available to all active duty military, staff, family members, and veterans.
Smith Center's Co-Founder and Executive Director, Shanti Norris is a member of the Arts & Healing Committee at Walter Reed for several years, and our Artist-In-Residence program has been serving veterans there since 2010.
Read the entire White Paper "Arts, Health, and Wellbeing across the Military Continuum" on the American's for the Arts website.
Learn more about how the arts can help us all heal in our Arts & Healing section.
Image: Discipline, by Tim Okamura