SAN DIEGO, CA – January 16, 2019 – Resounding Joy, Combat Arts, Vet Art, So Say We All; in partnership with Vets’ Community Connections and the San Diego Veterans Coalition announce, “Creative Arts – Pop-Up Cafes”, as part of Creative Forces®, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and the state and local arts agencies. Creative Forces began in military and veteran medical facilities, including MCB Camp Pendleton, via the integration of creative arts therapies into treatment plans for military service members with traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions.

Currently base clinics, Intrepid Centers, host Cafes on a monthly basis for the individuals receiving treatment at their location.  Resounding Joy, Combat Art, Vet Art, So Say We All, Vets’ Community Connections, and the San Diego Veterans Coalition seek to work together to provide a similar experience for service members, veterans, and their families here in San Diego County who are seeking supportive arts opportunities sensitive to their needs.  Pop-up Cafes will feature integrative performances, visual media by military artists, and detailed resources on local arts opportunities in a festive, participatory environment.  Art forms include: poetry, music, dance, visual arts, photography, and creative writing. Each Cafe will be structured to highlight multiple artistic media, including the work of the organizing partner.  The multiple Cafes will culminate in a final interactive production highlighting all the artistic works of the previous cafes.   These artistic, therapeutic opportunities will continue on past the initial pop-up cafes through the San Diego Veteran Arts Network, an initiative of Vets’ Community Connections and the San Diego Veterans Coalition; and steered by Resounding Joy, Combat Arts, Vet Art, So Say We All and comprised of art organizations, of all mediums, throughout San Diego County who understand the importance of arts and healing and supporting our military and their families.  This collaborative community pop-up project is supported by a $50,000 grant through the Creative Forces initiative.   

“Serving our military who have served us honorably is a privilege for the National Endowment for the Arts,” said Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “California’s Community Connections projects will further our understanding of how the arts improve health and well-being and enrich the lives of our military personnel and veterans around the nation.”

“San Diego is unique with the country’s largest active military footprint and thousands of veterans who call it home.  We are also blessed to have a thriving arts community, who understands the importance of inclusion and the power of art to heal and support, those who have served our country and their families.” said Shya Ellis-Flint, Program Manager, Vets’ Community Connections.

Creative Arts Pop- Up Cafes is one of 11 Community Connections projects supported across the country, representing the next phase of Creative Forces. Creative Arts Pop- Up Cafes responds to lessons learned, relationships forged, and needs identified from the arts and military summit held at Liberty Station on December 7th, 2017. 

About Creative Forces

Creative Forces serves the special needs of military patients and veterans with traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions, as well as their families and caregivers. Administrative support for the initiative is provided by Americans for the Arts. In addition, Creative Forces is investing in research on the impacts and benefits—physical, emotional, economic—of these innovative treatment methods. Visit the NEA’s website for published research as well as the more information on the clinical research strategic framework and five-year agenda.

Creative Forces® is a registered trademark of the National Endowment for the Arts.