Vet Arts Connect

We developed and launched our Vet Arts Connect initiative to support the health and well-being of military veterans by connecting them with vital experiences in nature and the creative arts. Consistent with scientific findings, many veterans report that artistic expression and encounters with nature improve their mood and self-confidence, while easing symptoms of post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and depression. We hope this successful demonstration project can influence and inspire other similar efforts to help veterans heal and flourish. 

Read more about how arts and nature experiences can help veterans.

Our Evaluation Process

Our Vet Arts Connect initiative worked to expand the base of evidence demonstrating the health benefits of veterans’ experiences with the arts and nature. Exposing veterans to these activities can have a positive impact on their levels of stress, anxiety, and anger; improve their ability to interact socially; and help them develop a higher level of self-esteem and self-confidence in their everyday lives. Through participation in an activity of their choice, veterans also learned skills directly related to the chosen art form or nature activity.

Vet Arts Connect worked with community partners to study the effects of arts and nature engagement on veterans’ overall health and well-being. Veterans in our study participated in partner-led arts and nature activities recognized as high quality, professional, culturally expanding, community-centered, physically and intellectually accessible, and inclusive. Participants were invited to provide data about their experiences before and after participating in a program.

Developing Program Partnerships

Vet Arts Connect created strong partnerships between arts and nature providers and local veteran service organizations (VSO) to offer quality programming for veterans. We partnered with providers who were already presenting arts and nature programs, and we adapted national models and programs to share at the local level and help local art and nature providers tailor existing programs for a veteran audience. We connected veterans with these opportunities by working with local Department of Veterans Affairs offices, VSOs, and veterans services offices at colleges and universities.

Providing Training for Partners

Vet Arts Connect prepared program instructors and facilitators to interact effectively with veterans using learning modules from Psych Armor Institute. Our training portal, developed specifically for Vet Arts Connect, offers two basic modules: 15 Things Veterans Want You to Know and Invisible Wounds of War.

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Resource Partners

psych armor institute logo
Training Partner
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Research Partner
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National Partner
national initiative for arts and health in the military logo
National Partner
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National Partner
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National Partner