The North Carolina Arts Council has awarded $75,000 in grants to support four arts programs that will serve military personnel, veterans and their families in the state.

“We are grateful that the North Carolina General Assembly funded this new program to support the men and women who make sacrifices every day while serving in the military,” said Wayne Martin, executive director of the North Carolina Arts Council. “This reoccurring appropriation allows us to provide specific arts outreach to our military and veterans communities.”

Research from the National Endowment for the Arts documents the transformative and restorative power of the arts for both veterans and active service men and women.

“Engaging in arts activities enhances healing, and provides important health benefits in every stage from recovery to wellness,” says Vicki Vitiello, who oversees the Arts Council’s new initiative. “The arts create opportunities for service members and veterans to tell their stories in different ways, and helps to connect them to the wider community.”

A panel of arts professionals and military representatives reviewed the proposal in a competitive review process and approved Cape Fear Regional Theatre in Fayetteville with a $23,385 grant award.

The Cape Fear Regional Theatre has a long history of collaborative programming with Fort Bragg. This project will deepen the connections with Fort Bragg, one of the largest military installations in the world, by establishing theater classes taught by CFRT staff and accomplished artists at various location on the base for both active duty personnel and families. Additionally, funds will support hiring a full-time Military Liaison.

The following programs were also approved.

Asheville Area Arts Council, Asheville 
Grant award: $26,000

This grant will expand an existing partnership between the Asheville Area Arts Council and the Charles George VA Medical Center to provide more creative opportunities for veterans in the area, such as community-based workshops in pottery and in fiber arts. The classes will be taught by local professional artists.  

Dare County Arts Council, Manteo
Grant award: $10,315

Since 2013 the Dare County Arts Council has presented the “OBX Veterans Week,” which includes the veterans writing workshop weekend that anchors the week’s arts activities. This project will expand the week of programming by adding additional workshops in photography, painting, and songwriting taught by professional artists.  

United Service Organizations of North Carolina, Raleigh
Grant award: $15,300

For many years the USO of North Carolina has provided military culture training workshops for small businesses that wish to hire veterans. The USO of N.C. collaborated with the Asheville Area Arts Council to adapt that model to train artists to work more effectively with veterans. This successful pilot project will now be offered to more local arts councils and arts organizations in the state. Additionally, the USO will expand the role that artists play in another of its programs, Reset, offered to military personnel and their families. 

The next deadline for organizations to submit proposal for the Military and Veterans Healing Arts program is Thursday, March 1, 2018. For more information visit: https://www.ncarts.org/resources/grants/grants-organizations/military-and-veterans-healing-arts-grants.

 

Contributed

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