Joining and Expanding the Creative Forces Arts & Military Program

Saturday, June 16, 4:45 pm - 6:00 pm

Creative Forces: The NEA Healing Arts Network serves the unique and special needs of military patients and veterans who have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions, as well as their families and caregivers. Creative Forces places creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care in 11 military and veteran medical facilities around the country and also supports a telehealth program for patients in rural and remote areas.

Americans for the Arts serves as the administrative partner for Creative Forces, and has been working alongside the NEA with local and state arts agency, military, veterans service, health care, and arts organization partners over the last year to host 10 Creative Forces community summits.  This session dives deep into the lessons learned from these summits about how to develop effective arts and military partnerships in your community.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn how the arts are being used to transform the medical treatment of service members and veterans after traumatic injuries and experiences.
  2. Hear about the Creative Forces program and the various ways it is working to put creative arts therapies at the center of efforts to heal service members, veterans, and their families.
  3. Explore how local arts agencies, state art agencies, and other partners are coming together to make this work possible.

Our thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts for its support of Expanding Arts Partnerships to Serve Military and Veterans

Presentation Slides


Andy Vick
Executive Director
Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Andy Vick is an experienced leader and arts administrator who believes in the power of the creative sector to drive economic development, build community, grow tourism, and enhance quality of life for everyone. As the Executive Director of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, Andy oversees the daily operation and management of a non-profit, local arts agency serving a two-county region with a population of almost 700,000. In conjunction with his work at the Cultural Office, Andy serves on the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitor's Bureau Board of Directors, is an ex-officio Board member of the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, and is on the Executive Committee for the United States Urban Arts Federation. Andy is also an experienced public speaker and consultant on the topic of using the arts as a tool for economic development and community vitality.

Renee Pazdan, MD
Neurologist, Chief of Rehabilitation
Evans Army Community Hospital
Ft. Carson, Colorado

CDR Renee Pazdan is a Neurologist and Officer with the USPHS. She has extensive clinical and research experience in military traumatic brain injury (TBI) and has served on expert panels and as a lecturer on this topic. She completed her neurology residency and clinical neurophysiology fellowship as an Army officer at Walter Reed Medical Center 2001-2006, and has achieved additional subspecialty board certification in Sleep Medicine and Brain Injury Medicine. She served as an Army Neurologist in Germany 2006-2010, where she evaluated service members evacuated from theatre. Since 2010, Dr. Pazdan has served as the Medical Director of TBI services at Evans Army Community Hospital and is supporting program development for future transition to the Ft. Carson Intrepid Spirit.

Bill O'Brien
Senior Innovation Advisor to the Chairman
National Endowment for the Arts
Washington, District of Columbia