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Grant Brings Arts to Veterans

Arkansas Arts Council - Friday, March 20, 2020

Do you have plans for writing, music, theater or visual arts programs that will help veterans in your community? We are accepting grants for future projects!

We are interested in bringing the arts in all forms to veterans across Arkansas. A subsection of our Arts for Lifelong Learning Mini-Grants program is specifically for veterans and has already helped organizations fund programs that improve the lives of Arkansas’s military service men and women.

For example, the Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System in North Little Rock received a grant this year for “Freedom Sings,” which helped fund bringing in songwriters and musicians from Nashville to spend two days with local veterans. In February, musicians taught veterans how to write songs based on their own stories and experiences. The program helps veterans deal with past traumatic events while connecting them to music and the arts.

Two other programs are in the works in Northwest Arkansas. In Fayetteville, plans are underway to use the grant to create an art therapy program for veterans at the local VA. Art therapy uses creative outlets, like drawing or painting, to express emotional or psychological issues. In Eureka Springs, an arts program that has already been providing services for the past five years is considering using our grant to expand and reach more veterans.

Our grant for veterans requires no matching funds and has no deadline for submission. We are accepting grant applications on an ongoing basis. Funding is on a first-come, first-serve basis until money is depleted. All ideas that serve our military veterans and active-duty troops are welcomed and needed.

More than 2 million U.S. military service members have been deployed since 2001 and many have returned with physical and psychological traumas, according to Americans for the Arts. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates Arkansas has more than 250,000 military veterans, many of whom need access to the arts. Through our grant, artists and organizations have the opportunity to transform lives.

Program ideas include:

  • Screenwriting and Theater workshops
  • Songwriting workshops
  • Visual arts for therapy sessions
  • Memoir writing workshops
  • Collage making activities

For more information, visit ArkansasArts.org or contact Janet Perkins, community development program manager, at 501-324-9775 or Janet.Perkins@arkansas.gov.