Since 2014, the Veterans and the Arts Initiative has served over 10,000 military-connected people through workshops and special events at the Hylton Center and virtually.
The Veterans and the Arts Initiative received the first state appropriation from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2019 in support of this program.
- In 2015, the Initiative received its first gift from (the former) Azalea Charities, Inc to launch “Celebrating Veterans and the Arts,” a series of celebratory events in honor of Veterans Day designed for Veterans, Servicemembers, their families, military caregivers, and the community. This annual celebration brings the military community together at the Hylton Center to engage in camaraderie through the hands-on workshops, exhibitions, and special concerts.
- The Initiative and its staff has participated in the Virginia Women Veterans Summit since 2018. The Summit highlighted program director Dr. Niyati Dhokai’s contributions by naming her their first-ever Changemaker of the Year in 2018.
- The Initiative received five government contracts awarded in support of Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and the state and local arts agencies with administrative support pro-vided by Americans for the Arts and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine.
- Faculty and researchers have made over 20 presentations of findings from community-based events, including at the Soldier and Family Assistance Center at Fort Belvoir, international academic conferences, and George Mason University events.
- The Hylton Performing Arts Center hosted 60 arts interventions with faculty in the College of Education and Human Development (SMART Lab) and in the College of Health and Human Services (Department of Social Work) to study the effects of arts engagement in older adults in 2019.
- Faculty, staff, and artists have created over 100 customized workshops created and implemented specifically for our Veteran community from 2017 – 2021.
- Arlington Art Series Podcast interview with Dr. Niyati Dhokai
- NEA Blog: “Creative Forces, Community Engagement, & COVID-19” 2020
- GMU featured in “The Big Picture: A Look at the National Endowment for the Arts” in American Artscape Magazine 2020
- Profile of the Dominion Energy Veterans Guitar Workshop Series on Great Day Washington 2020
- Article on Veterans and the Arts Initiative in Inside NOVA 2019
- Profile of Veterans and the Arts Initiative on Comcast Newsmakers 2018
- Profile of Veterans and the Arts Initiative in Mason Spirit Magazine 2018
- Article on Niyati Dhokai and the Veterans and the Arts Initiative in Elan Magazine 2018
- Profile of Niyati Dhokai in Potomac Local 2018