Creative Forces: Resources
Resources About Creative Forces
A 13:32 version of the Creative Forces video is available to view and to share
Creative Forces National Resource Center
Find information on Creative Forces research, as well as impacts of and insights into this initiative.
Creative Forces Fact Sheet
Brief summary of information about the initiative.
The Mysteries That Drive Our Creative Forces
By Bill O’Brien, NEA senior advisor for innovation and director of Creative Forces
First-person accounts about military service members’ experiences with creative arts therapies.
“My passion for music from before my injury helped me find my words more readily over time. Through music therapy I was able to express my feelings of frustration, love, and thankfulness for the life that was my new normal."
“Music provides a buffer zone where I can feel more comfortable sharing things with others that are difficult to discuss in conversation.”
“Art and music are very soothing activities which keep our minds and hands busy, thus relieving some tension and allowing us to open up to some other topics.”
“Art has many forms from painting to sculpting as well as blacksmithing and forging steel…treatment takes many forms as well. Art can bridge that gap.”
“I used music to bypass the injured sections of my brain and to stimulate other pathways in my healing process.”
“I can state unequivocally that art therapy has helped me to be a better human, husband, father, and friend. I can also state unequivocally that art therapy has helped save my life.”
NEA Stories on the Arts & Military
How a Norfolk Writing Center is Helping Members of the Military Find Their Muse (2019)
With support from the NEA, The Muse has created a new military component of its Write Where You Are initiative, which invites service members and veterans to participate in one-day writing seminars and six-week workshops, the latter of which culminate in public readings where participants can share their work.
Art Talk with Literature Fellow Hugh Martin (2019)
A 2019 Literature Fellow, Martin transforms his sometimes putrid, sometimes traumatic, and frequently wrenching experiences serving in Iraq with the National Guard into searing imagery that captures the pathos and atmosphere of war.
Moving Veterans Toward a Place of Healing (2018)
In 2015 DIAVOLO | Architecture in Motion, launched the company’s Veterans Project which invites area veterans to participate in monthly movement workshops, where they move alongside civilian dancers including DIAVOLO company members.
Creative Forces: At the Wheel and at the Forge (2017)
Based in Alexandria, Virginia, IMPart classes are not structured with a curriculum or expectations to produce work. They offer instead an opportunity to explore and play in an open studio environment, giving participants a chance to leave behind what they might be working through in their heads to create something with their hands.
IMPart: Injured Military Personnel + Art (2016)
In this video we her from participants in the Art League of Alexandria, Virginia's IMPART program. IMPart connects recent injured military oersonnel with visual arts experiences created for personal enrichment, relaxed social engagement, the improvement and redevelopment of fine motor skills, and expressive catharsis.
Theater of War (2012)
A classicist and translator, Bryan Doerries believed that the ancient military tragedies of Sophocles, who was a general as well as a playwright, would speak to the experiences of today’s service members and provide an avenue for them to share their own stories.
The Sacrifices That Have Been Given: A Talk with Choreographer Roman Baca (2012)
For Roman Baca, his life as a dancer and his experiences in the U.S. Marine Corps are essentially intertwined. As artistic director of Exit 12 Dance Company, he uses the beauty and language of dance to communicate his own experiences as a service member in Fallujah as well as those of other members of the military and their loved ones at home.
War Cuts: A Conversation with Artist Don R. Schol (2012)
An interview with Schol, a combat artist from October 1967 to April 1968 with the U.S. Army's Vietnam Combat Artists Program, and his wife, artist Pam Burnley-Schol, about art, war, and the process of healing.