Healing Arts and the Military: Community Impact Programs

Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 2:00 EDT / 11:00 PDT [PASSED]

  • Judy Rollins, President, Rollins & Associates, Inc.
  • Gay Powell Hanna, Executive Director, National Center for Creative Aging
  • Marete Wester, Senior Director of Arts Policy, Americans for the Arts

Session 1 of the 10-part 2014 Web Conference Series

A recording of this presentation is available here.

Web Conferences are free to the staff and board of GIA member organizations. The fee for nonmembers is $35. If you have already registered for another web conference in the 2014 series, please click the Register now! button and login, then click Agenda.


This session will feature the work of Americans for the Arts, the Global Alliance for Arts & Health, and the National Center for Creative Aging, three national service organizations building support for community-based arts programs that serve active military and their families, as well as veterans across the life span. Program examples will demonstrate the importance of the arts in sustaining the health and wellbeing of active-duty military and veterans in both urban and rural settings, including those that serve veterans in long-term care and hospice. All art forms will be addressed, with a focus on music and the power of journaling.

Presenter Bios:
Judy Rollins, Ph.D., RN, President, Rollins & Associates, Inc., brings over thirty years of arts and healthcare experience in research, consulting, program development, and education. She is a registered nurse with a BFA in the visual arts, an MS in child development and family studies, and a Ph.D. in health and community studies. She holds a certificate in Evaluation Practice from George Washington University in Washington, DC. Rollins has developed arts programming for patients, families, and healthcare staff in hospitals, hospice care, and the community, including military settings. She is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine with a secondary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. She consults, writes, and researches on healthcare issues nationally and internationally, with a special interest in arts-informed research.

Author of over one hundred publications, Dr. Rollins is editor for Pediatric Nursing and North America regional editor for the Global Alliance for Arts & Health’s Arts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice. After longtime service as an officer and board member of the Global Alliance for Arts & Health, she was appointed an Ambassador in 2010, and in spring 2011 was among the first group of recipients of the Global Alliance’s Distinguished Fellow designation. See Rollins & Associates.

Gay Powell Hanna, Ph.D., M.F.A., is the executive director of the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA). An affiliate of George Washington University. NCCA is dedicated to fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and quality of life for older people. NCCA provides professional development and technical assistance to encourage and sustain arts and humanities program in various community and health care settings.

From 2003 to 2007 Dr. Hanna served as the executive director of the Society for the Arts in Healthcare. Through faculty positions at Florida State University and University of South Florida from 1987 to 2003, she directed VSA Arts of Florida, an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, providing arts education programs for people with disabilities including people with chronic illness. In 2001, she established the Florida Center for Creative Aging at the Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging at the University of South Florida. A contributing author to numerous articles and books, Dr. Hanna was the lead author of a white paper produced by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Arts and Human Development, Framing A National Research Agenda For The Arts, Lifelong Learning, And Individual Well-Being (November 2011). She is an associate professor at George Washington University in the Health Sciences Department.

Marete Wester, M.S, joined the staff of Americans for the Arts in April of 2006. As senior director of arts policy, she is responsible for the development of cross-sector policy issues and related strategic alliances nationally and internationally. Among her major focus areas are arts and the military, international cultural and economic engagement, health, and the environment. In 2006 and 2007 respectively, she launched—and for six years—implemented Americans for the Arts’ signature policy forums, the National Arts Policy Roundtable at Sundance and the annual Aspen Seminar for Leadership in the Arts. An experienced administrator of cross-sector collaborations, Marete currently co-chairs the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military, which brings together branches of the military in collaboration with civilian agencies to advance the policy, practice, and quality use of arts and creativity as tools for health for all active duty military, veterans, staff, families, and caregivers—in military treatment facilities, veterans hospitals, and communities across the country.

An educator and author, Marete has developed on-site and online courses for Seton Hall University and the Arts Extension Service at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her past positions include serving as executive director of Dance New Jersey and the Alliance for Arts Education/New Jersey. She holds a bachelor’s of music performance degree from Wilkes University and a master’s degree in Arts Administration from Drexel University.