With a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation of $101,250, the New England Foundation for the Arts announces plans to convene artists and experts from the military and healthcare sectors to explore the impact of performing-arts projects that address military and veterans’ issues.

In the fall of 2016, the New England Foundation for the Arts, together with ArtsEmerson, HowlRound, and the Foundation for Art and Healing, will assemble key stakeholders to assess the impact of creativity to build bridges between military and civilian experiences and improve well-being for individuals and community. This convening will bring together artists, researchers, healthcare experts, military personnel, and policy leaders to discuss best practices, lessons learned, and share information.

NEFA has invested $500,000 over the past five years in the creation and touring of new dance and theater pieces that reflect on the military experience and the current state of America at war. These new works are made by artists who have engaged voices directly from the military community in their process and on tour. To date, the works have toured to 42 communities in 21 states, at theaters, on university campuses, and on military bases. Funded projects include:

“This is an opportunity to advance understanding of how the performing arts can connect military and civilian experiences," said NEFA executive director Cathy Edwards. “Creating case studies of previous projects will help identify best practices around artist-military collaborations and seed future investment in projects that build understanding between two often-distinct worlds."

“We are proud to support NEFA in this effort, which will bring key voices together around a powerfully important subject—the transformative potential of the arts to promote healing, build empathy and create important connections between civilians and those in the military,” said Ben Cameron, program director for the Arts at DDCF. “This conversation to examine the most effective methods for doing so is fruitful ground, and we look forward to the ideas that come out of it.”

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people's lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties. The Arts Program focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theatre artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. For more information, please visit www.ddcf.org.

About NEFA
NEFA builds connections among artists, arts organizations, and funders, powering the arts to energize communities in New England, the nation, and the world. NEFA is a nonprofit that operates in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the New England state arts agencies, with additional funding from foundations, corporations, individuals and other government agencies.

NEFA’s work is accomplished through grantmaking, services, and initiatives which strengthen and advance the national arts infrastructure. For more information, please visit www.nefa.org or call 617.951.0010.


CONTACT: Ann Wicks | 617.951.0010 x534                                                                                                                                        

Image: American Records ReEntry; By Mark Garvin