Our Mission

Empowering veterans and reuniting them with their communities through the arts and the creative process.

Honoring those who have served and celebrating art as the creative bridge to healing

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts and James A. Haley Veteran’s Hospital present the VetArtSpan project as part of Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and state and local arts agencies. Creative Forces began in military and veteran medical facilities via the integration of creative arts therapies into treatment plans for military service members with traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions.

VetArtSpan is designed to demonstrate an artistic roadmap that serves to bridge the expanse of health, art and the collaborative efforts of the medical, science, and art community in support of the healing, wellness, and reintegration of our veteran citizens and their families. This program is also designed to create a platform for connecting and informing the civilian population about the structure and cultural nuances of military life and the important ways the civilian community can support and enrich the re-integration of our veterans and their families as they return home.

The project includes this informational website, featuring videos, podcast conversations, and a network directory of veteran service providers as well as arts organizations and artistic outlets dedicated to serving our veterans and their families. The project will also include veteran and civilian dialogues, an interactive online art gallery featuring veteran and civilian art and an in-theater performance. 

The VetArtSpan Project is designed to provide a forum to:

  • Bridge the expanse of health, art and the collaborative efforts of the science, medical and arts communities in support of the wellness, healing and re-integration of our veteran citizens and their families.
  • Expand and connect the network of veteran service organizations, arts organizations and the general community in an effort to provide links that serve to ease the veteran pathway of re-integration to civilian life and general understanding and support of both our active duty and veteran community members.
  • Serve as a forum for authentic storytelling and the sharing of the “Veteran Experience” from the perspective of the veteran, family members and those, both artists and therapists, who serve in the care and rehabilitation of our veteran citizens.
  • Enrich the community’s understanding of the structure and nuances of military life through the presentation of a Military Cultural Competency curriculum designed to give an overview of the basics of military history, structure and culture.
  • Celebrate and amplify the civilian community through the presentation of performance, gallery showings of visual art and broadcast programming.
  • Create a replicable model that uses art, on-line podcast conversation, a website informational format and in-theater presentation as a foundation for empowering our veteran community, informing our civilian community so they can more clearly understand the military experience and support our veterans and link veteran arts therapeutic service providers with community arts organizations.


Veterans and their communities sharing their stories, healing, and reunification through the arts.

About this Creative forces project

VetArtSpan is one of 11 Community Connections projects supported across the country by the National Endowment for the Arts, representing the next phase of Creative Forces. VetArtSpan responds to lessons learned, relationships forged, and needs identified from the arts and military summit held in the Jaeb Theater at The Straz Center in October 2017.

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