We are privately owned and not affiliated or endorsed by any government agency.

Take the Benefits Quiz

Arts in Healing

Definition The term “Arts in Healing” in the context of VA benefits refers to creative arts therapies and programs designed to aid military veterans in their recovery and rehabilitation. These therapies harness various forms of artistic expression, such as music, dance, drama, and visual arts, to improve mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Through Arts in […]


The term “Arts in Healing” in the context of VA benefits refers to creative arts therapies and programs designed to aid military veterans in their recovery and rehabilitation. These therapies harness various forms of artistic expression, such as music, dance, drama, and visual arts, to improve mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Through Arts in Healing, veterans can develop coping skills, self-awareness, and emotional resilience to better manage stress, trauma, and any other challenges they may face.

Key Takeaways

  1. Arts in Healing is a therapeutic approach in the healthcare system, specifically under VA benefits, that utilizes creative arts to improve the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of veterans.
  2. Through programs and workshops consisting of various art forms, such as visual arts, music, dance, and writing, veterans are provided with an opportunity to express themselves and cope with stress, trauma, and other health-related issues.
  3. Participation in Arts in Healing enables veterans to develop a sense of accomplishment, build social connections, and enhance their quality of life, fostering personal growth and resilience in their path to recovery.


The VA benefits term “Arts in Healing” holds great importance as it recognizes and emphasizes the positive impact of creative arts therapies on the health and well-being of veterans.

These arts therapies, including visual arts, music, dance, drama, and writing, have been proven effective in addressing a range of physical, emotional, and psychological issues faced by veterans, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety.

By incorporating these therapies as part of their benefits program, the VA helps facilitate a holistic approach to healing and rehabilitation, empowering veterans to regain control of their lives and to reintegrate into society more smoothly.

Through the Arts in Healing, veterans are not only given a constructive outlet for their emotions but are also provided with valuable skills and coping mechanisms to navigate their unique challenges and experiences.


The Arts in Healing program, a subset of VA benefits, is designed to support the emotional, mental, and physical well-being of veterans, their families, and the broader military community through engagement in creative and expressive arts. The program stems from the understanding that exposure to a variety of artistic mediums — such as visual, performing, or literary arts — can play a critical role in enhancing an individual’s overall health and fostering a sense of community among veterans.

The program’s purpose is not limited to the treatment of particular ailments or conditions; rather, it promotes a holistic approach to healing and encourages participants to develop communication skills, emotional resilience, and other valuable life skills that can improve their quality of life and ease the transition to civilian life. A key aspect of the Arts in Healing program is to provide participants with opportunities to express themselves creatively and connect with fellow veterans on deeper levels, creating supportive networks for overcoming shared challenges.

The program collaborates with a range of local and national organizations, employing both professional artists and art therapists to facilitate workshops, group sessions, and one-on-one interactions. These partnerships work toward addressing the unique needs of the veteran community, such as coping with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, depression, and other service-related conditions.

Additionally, the Arts in Healing initiatives also aim to raise public awareness of the critical role creative arts can play in long-term healing, thus making this valuable resource more accessible and empowering veterans to prioritize their well-being.

Examples of Arts in Healing

The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival (NVCAF): The NVCAF, sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Legion Auxiliary, is an annual event that showcases and honors the creative achievements of veterans who participate in a therapy program that uses the arts for healing. The festival features various art forms such as music, dance, drama, and visual arts, and gives veterans the opportunity to share their stories of recovery and healing through artistic expression.

The Veterans Art Project (VetArt): The Veterans Art Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing art-based therapies for veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families. VetArt offers a variety of programs such as art classes, workshops, and group therapy sessions that help participants express their emotions, process traumatic events, and develop coping skills. VetArt also collaborates with medical facilities, universities, and other organizations to promote the use of art therapy to aid in the process of healing and recovery.

Creative Forces: The NEA Military Healing Arts Network: Creative Forces, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, and state and local art agencies, is an initiative that aims to improve the health and well-being of military personnel and veterans with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder through creative arts therapies. The initiative supports clinical treatment programs, research, and community engagement activities that explore the power of the arts in facilitating recovery and healing. Through Creative Forces, veterans can access creative arts therapies such as music therapy, visual arts therapy, and drama therapy, as well as creative writing workshops and other community-based arts programs.

FAQ: Arts in Healing VA Benefits

What are Arts in Healing VA benefits?

Arts in Healing VA benefits are programs provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that focus on incorporating various forms of art into the healing process. These programs aim to improve the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of veterans through engagement in creative activities such as visual arts, music, writing, and other artistic disciplines.

How do veterans qualify for Arts in Healing programs?

To qualify for Arts in Healing programs, veterans must be enrolled in the VA health care system and have a referral or recommendation from a VA health care provider. It is important to consult with your health care team to determine if these programs are appropriate for your specific needs.

What types of arts programs are offered by the VA?

The VA offers a wide range of arts programs, including visual arts, music, creative writing, dance, theater, and more. These programs are designed to cater to various interests and abilities, allowing veterans to explore new creative outlets in a supportive environment with other individuals who share similar experiences.

What are the benefits of participating in Arts in Healing programs?

Participating in Arts in Healing programs can provide numerous benefits for veterans, such as reducing stress, alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety, improving self-esteem and self-expression, and enhancing overall quality of life. These programs also offer a sense of camaraderie and a supportive community, as participants engage in creative activities with fellow veterans and VA health care providers.

How can I find Arts in Healing programs near me?

To find Arts in Healing programs in your area, you can visit your local VA medical center’s website or contact their recreation therapy department. Additionally, you can use the VA’s facility locator tool to find a nearby VA medical center that offers these programs.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Therapeutic Art Programs
  • Creative Arts Therapy
  • Expressive Arts for Veterans
  • Healing Arts Workshops
  • Arts-Based PTSD Interventions

Sources for More Information

Benefits.com Advisors

With expertise spanning local, state, and federal benefit programs, our team is dedicated to guiding individuals towards the perfect program tailored to their unique circumstances.

Rise to the top with Peak Benefits!

Join our Peak Benefits Newsletter for the latest news, resources, and offers on all things government benefits.

Related Articles