West Nebraska Arts Center to receive Creative Forces Community Engagement Grant

West Nebraska Arts Center to receive Creative Forces Community Engagement Grant
June 9th, 2023 | News Release

West Nebraska Arts Center is one of 34 organizations nationwide selected to receive a Creative Forces® Community Engagement grant. A grant of $7,500 will support the Veterans Art Project, a series of creative art classes including pottery, drawing/painting, writing, photography and metalsmithing. Creative Forces Community Engagement Grants are part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Creative Forces® initiative and are in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance.

“We are excited to witness how these arts engagement activities have the power to enhance the health and well-being of our military and veteran populations,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. “These Creative Forces Community Engagement projects are vital in helping to improve the quality of life for military-connected people, bolster health equity through the arts, and build healthy communities where all people can thrive.”

The Veterans Art Project through West Nebraska Arts Center will offer classes on a rotating basis in pottery, drawing/painting, writing, photography, and metalsmithing. The classes are staggered throughout the year and will be repeated once. Some of the instructors are veterans themselves and are well aware of the benefits of having a creative outlet. At this time, we are taking registrations for all classes. Those who are interested may contact the West Nebraska Arts Center at 308-632-2226 or stop by and visit at 106 E. 18th Street, Scottsbluff.

Todd Stein, President and CEO of Mid-America Arts Alliance, said, “we’ve seen how art can create new bonds of connection and understanding through the Creative Forces Community Engagement projects, especially for those in our military communities who may feel isolated and alone. We are honored to partner with the National Endowment of the Arts on this grant program, and we are continually inspired by the power of these projects to deliver hope and healing to our service members, veterans, and their families.”

By providing opportunities for engaging in art or artmaking, the West Nebraska Arts Center seeks to help participants gain a better understanding of themselves and others through creative expression, while increasing their sense of belonging to our community. Participation in the arts often leads to individual and shared sense of purpose, as well as positive self-worth, supporting their ability to adapt and readjust to life’s challenges.

Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The initiative seeks to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for military and veteran populations exposed to trauma, as well as their families and caregivers. Creative Forces is managed in partnership with Americans for the Arts, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, and Mid-America Arts Alliance. More information can be found at arts.gov/creativeforces and creativeforcesnrc.arts.gov.


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