Healing Arts And Military


Update, November 2013: Smith Center is among 15 partners that joined Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and Americans for the Arts in co-leading the National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military. The initiative was launched in January, 2012, following the success of the first National Summit: Arts in Healing for WRNMMC. It exists to advance the arts in health, healing, and healthcare for military service members, veterans, their families, and their caregivers. Specific goals include:

  • Advance the policy, practice, and quality use of arts and creativity as tools for health in the military;
  • Raise visibility, understanding, and support of arts and health in the military; and
  • Make the arts as tools for health available to all active duty military, staff, family members, and veterans.

The partners have convened several times in the past year, resulting in a report containing a series of recommendations in the areas of research, practice, and policy. Read Arts, Health, and Well-Being Across the Military Continuum – White Paper and Framing a National Plan for Action on the Americans for the Arts website.

Update, November 2012: Smith Center was recently a part of a gathering of leaders on Thursday, November 15 at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. This event was a step in creating a framework for a National Action Plan for Arts & Health in the Military that will ensure the availability of arts interventions for servicemembers and their families, and to make the arts part of the “Standard of Care” in clinical military hospitals.
Read more about the Arts & Health in the Military National Roundtable

Smith Center is happy to be a partner of the groundbreaking National Summit: Arts and Healing for Wounded Warriors held in October 2011 and sponsored by the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. A remarkable coalition of partners worked tirelessly for over a year to create this first ever conference on the power of the arts to contribute to healing at every level of military involvement. Partners included the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, Americans for the Arts, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, VSA, National Endowment for the Arts, the Epidaurus Project and six others. The by-invitation-only conference was held over two days onsite at Walter Reed and was attended by 150 people.

Admiral Alton Stockes, the newly appointed head of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center opened the conference. After attending both days of the conference, Admiral Stockes, formerly Surgeon General of the US Marine Corps, remarked that had he known earlier about the power of the arts, he could likely have saved many more lives.

We have been invited to hold a second conference at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in spring 2013. The committee is actively planning the conference with leadership from the Society for the Arts in Healthcare and Americans for the Arts.

Browse materials from the summit for more information…

Agenda – Day 1

Speaker Bios – Day 1

Agenda – Day 2

Speaker Bios – Day 2


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