Keywords: Arts; Health; Accessibility; Grants; Communities; Partnering with Public/Non-Profit Agencies.
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) had a near-death experience with termination in 1995. A 40% pass-through to the state art agencies was legislatively mandated in the same year: of the remaining 60% of its $149.9 (FY 2016) appropriation, the NEA made 2,400 grants in sixteen-thousand communities that include each of the 435 congressional districts. The aftermath saw its grant-making reoriented toward programs that served a greater number of communities with more tangible and socially oriented benefits. Three grants awarded in 2016 must suffice to illuminate NEA's commitment to the connections between arts policy and health policy: Community Blueprint for Health, Music and Memory, Military Healing Arts Network. As nowadays arts programs addressing the needs of the physical/cognitively impaired do not enjoy the support of larger constituencies, NEA's supports for 'art and health' programs, despite its limited budget, represent some valuable public commitment.