Officials work to bring healing power of arts to veterans in Jacksonville

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - For years, people have been talking about the healing power of art. On Friday night, groups from the national and state level were in the east partnering with local organizations to bring that healing power to veterans.

Through painting, drawing photography, sculpting, and poetry, one thing was clear at Jacksonville's Art Council Building, the power of healing through art for veterans across the state has become a powerful thing.

With help from the North Carolina Arts Council and the local Jacksonville/Onslow Arts Council, the Creative Forces program is an initiative from the National Endowment for the Arts and Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs to network arts therapies to 11 military medical facilities across the country, like the one that already exists at Jacksonville's Camp Lejeune.

"It's an opportunity for us to thank our service members and veterans who have been so brave, our brave men and women, and now we get to support them by providing this healing and also quality of life," says Jane Chu, the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The National Endowment for the Arts hopes to expand its community-based network even further in the future, offering programs specifically targeted for military personnel, their families, and veterans in areas across the country.