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Contact: Sarah Revell
Sarah.Revell@dos.myflorida.com
850.245.6522

Florida Joins Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network

Tampa’s Straz Center for the Performing Arts to host Creative Forces Summit October 23 and 24

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –

Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital has joined Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. Creative Forces is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, plus state and local arts agencies. The network places creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care at 11 military medical facilities across the country, as well as a telehealth program to reach patients in rural and remote areas, and increases access to therapeutic arts activities for military personnel and their families in local communities

In addition to James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, the NEA is working with the Center for Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida, in partnership with the Rural Veterans TeleRehabilitation Initiative, on creating the telehealth program. The Rural Veterans TeleRehabilitation Initiative is a program of the VA Office of Rural Health at the Malcom Randall Veterans Administration Medical Center in Gainesville.

“It is a great honor for the Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs to join with the National Endowment for the Arts to provide art-based services to our veterans and current service members at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital,” said Secretary Detzner. “Creative arts therapies have been shown to be of great benefit to those who have served our country so bravely. We look forward to bringing the community together in Tampa to discuss the Creative Forces initiative.”

“Our Creative Forces expansion in Florida marks two major milestones—our first official collaboration with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the establishment of a telehealth program to reach patients in rural and remote areas,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “We are excited to come together with the community in Florida to create a network that will further support our military, veterans, and their families.”

As a state partner in Creative Forces, the Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs will convene an arts and military summit at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on October 23-24, 2017 featuring national and state military and health professionals engaged in this important work. Attendees will learn and discuss strategies to increase access to therapeutic arts activities for military personnel and their families. The event is open to the public. For more information on the summit, please click here.

Through Creative Forces, the NEA funds creative arts therapists and writing instructors, equipment, and supplies. The creative arts therapists are credentialed health professionals that provide art therapy and music therapy to military patients. At some sites, patients may also receive creative writing instruction. Americans for the Arts is working with the NEA to provide administrative support for Creative Forces.

For more information on the Creative Forces initiative, please click here.

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About the Division of Cultural Affairs
The Florida Department of State’s Division of Cultural Affairs is Florida’s legislatively designated state arts agency. The Division promotes the arts and culture as essential to quality of life for all Floridians. To achieve its mission, the Division funds and supports cultural programs that provide artistic excellence, diversity, education, access and economic vitality for Florida’s communities. For more information, visit dos.myflorida.com/cultural.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.

About Americans for the Arts

Americans for the Arts is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, dedicated to representing and serving local communities and to creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. With offices in Washington, DC, and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Since 2011, Americans for the Arts has led the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military (NIAHM), a collaborative effort that seeks to advance the policy, practice, and quality use of the 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 active duty military, military families, and veterans. NIAHM's partners include the American Legion Auxiliary, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Veterans Health Administration, and NIH’s National Center of Complementary & Integrative Health alongside arts, humanities, and veterans service nonprofits; state and local cultural agencies; and universities around the country. Additional information is available at www.artsacrossthemilitary.org.