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NEWS RELEASE - Washington State Arts Commission and Department of Veteran Affairs partner to support Veterans through the arts

Washington State Arts Commission and Department of Veteran Affairs partner to support Veterans through the arts

$250,000 in grants will support arts programming across four Veteran Homes

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) and the Washington Department of Veteran Affairs (WDVA) gathered on January 18 to celebrate a new partnership—together, the two agencies will distribute $250,000 in grants for arts-based programming at the four State Veterans Homes and the Transitional Housing Program.

U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Bryan Bales, who manages ArtsWA’s Wellness, Arts, and the Military (WAM) program, sees the partnership as a critical step for Washington’s Veteran community.

“I consider it an honor and a privilege for the Wellness, Arts, and the Military Program at ArtsWA to partner with the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Bales. “We’re passionate about improving quality of life through the arts, and I cannot wait to see the impact that this funding will have on the residents.”

ArtsWA Executive Director Karen Hanan agreed, noting that “the arts are unparalleled in their capacity to foster healing and self-discovery.”

“Whether the wound be of the body or the mind, creative expression is a critical component of recovery,” said Hanan. “We are proud to partner with WDVA to bring healing and community to those who have served.”

Grant funds will provide Veterans residing in a State Veterans Home, or receiving services in the Transitional Housing Program, new opportunities to participate in arts programs.

“The past three years has been especially challenging for Veterans and families in our State Veterans Homes and Transitional Housing Program. COVID related precautions severely limited our ability to offer in-person programming such as painting, live music from community groups, or attending local theater events,” said David Puente, Director of the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs. “Funding from the ArtsWA Grant will allow our Veterans and families to connect with the arts and we know this will have a positive impact on their quality of life. We are extremely grateful for this partnership with the Washington Arts Commission and look forward to sharing stories of its impact.”

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Washington State Arts Commission and Department of Veteran Affairs partner to support Veterans through the arts

 

 From left: Bryan Bales (Wellness, Arts, and the Military Program Manager, Washington State Arts Commission), Karen Hanan (Executive Director, Washington State Arts Commission), Dan Murray (State Homes Operations Director, Washington Department of Veterans Affairs), David Puente (Director, Washington Department of Veterans Affairs). Photo courtesy Washington Department of Veterans Affairs.

Media Contact - Washington:

Michael Wallenfels

Communications Manager

ArtsWA/The Washington State Arts Commission

PO Box 42675 Olympia, WA 98504

michael.wallenfels@arts.wa.gov

360-252-9831

Media Contact:

Heidi Audette

Communications and Legislative Director

Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs

1102 Quince St SE, Olympia, WA 98504

heidia@dva.wa.gov

(360) 485-1812

 

About ArtsWA

ArtsWA is the Washington State Arts Commission, a state government agency established in 1961. ArtsWA works to be a catalyst for the arts, advancing the role of the arts in the lives of individuals and communities throughout the state. Programs include Art in Public Places, Arts in Education, Grants to Organizations, and other special projects. For more information, visit arts.wa.gov.

 

About WDVA

The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs helps connect veterans and their family members to the benefits and services they earned through their military service. WDVA offers long-term care in our four State Veteran Homes (the Washington Soldiers Home, the Washington Veterans Home, the Spokane Veterans Home, and the Walla Walla Veterans Home) for honorably discharged veterans, spouses of residents, widows of eligible veterans, and Gold Star Parents. For more information, visit dva.wa.gov.