NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership

NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership

The NEA and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center have formed the NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership to explore how creative arts therapy and arts engagement programs can improve health and well-being in military healthcare settings.

Since 2011, the NEA Walter Reed partnership has supported creative arts therapies across disciplines for patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  This includes music and writing therapy for troops, including patients at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), a DoD institute dedicated to providing cutting-edge evaluation, treatment planning, research and education for service members and their families dealing with the complex interactions of the signature wounds from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and psychological health conditions.

In addition to supporting creative arts engagement programs, the NEA and Walter Reed are developing clinical research to evaluate the potential health benefits of creative arts therapy interventions for troops with Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress. 

The NEA-supported creative writing workshops were inspired by the NEA's acclaimed program Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, which launched in 2004 to help U.S. troops and their families write about their wartime experiences in Afghanistan, Iraq, and stateside.

The NEA / Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership is a partnership between the NEA and the Department of Defense. The Boeing Company has supported NEA-led creative writing programs for the military since 2004, and continues to support creative writing programs in non-clinical settings at Walter Reed.