In partnership with Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region and Colorado Creative Industries are pleased to present Military Arts Connection (MAC), an online tool that connects military service members, veterans and their families to a wide variety of local arts enrichment experiences. The MAC program has been operational since June 2019. Click here for the most recent MAC Program Update, or learn more at www.MilitaryArts Connection.org.
The MAC program is not about art therapy. Instead, MAC is about leveraging the power of the arts to help create stronger community connections, learn new skills, and enable our local military service members, veterans and their families to unleash their inner creativity. The MAC program is also designed to generate new economic opportunities for local artists and arts organizations, and to provide training and ongoing guidance for participating Artist Facilitators. Ultimately, we hope that MAC will support the military’s emphasis on resiliency and wellness, and help to create new and sustainable connections between the military and arts & cultural sectors here in Colorado’s Pikes Peak region.
Creative Forces began in 2011 as a joint initiative between the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs that focuses on arts and healing in the military sector. In 2017, Fort Carson was selected as one of 11 national program sites. In addition to placing a certified Music Therapist in the Warrior Recovery Center at Fort Carson, the Creative Forces initiative also provided the initial funding to host a Community Summit, and to subsequently launch a local “Community Connections” project that would take place off-post and engage the broader community. Our local project, Military Arts Connection, has been operating since June of 2019.
In February 2018, our Creative Forces Community Summit was held in the new Ent Center for the Arts at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Attended by over 200 representatives from the military, arts, healthcare, government, education and foundation sectors, Summit participants identified the various needs and priorities for our community, which ultimately led to the development of the MAC program. Please watch the video below for a brief overview of the Summit.
Please follow these links for additional videos and content from the Summit:
- Summit Video—Nolen Bivens
- Summit Video—Renee Pazdan
- Summit Video—Alicia Souvignier
- Summit Video—Robin Dahmen
- Summit Video—Margaret Hunt
- Summit Video—Tim Whalen
- Download the official Summit Flyer.
- Download the Summit Agenda.
- See photos from the Summit.
- General information about Creative Forces on the NEA website
- NEA website’s Creative Forces Research page
- PsychArmor’s “Military Culture School for Everyone”
- VA Community Provider Toolkit
For more information about the national Creative Forces initiative, or our local Military Arts Connection program here in the Pikes Peak region, please contact andy@CulturalOffice.org, or call 719-634-2204.