What We Do
ArtsForce is a one-of-a-kind competitive showcase with the mission of providing a powerful artistic expression platform for members of our veteran communities and those about to transition from active duty in the military. It primarily consists of an annual performing arts competition encompassing a broad range of performing arts, adjudicated by a world renowned international jury. In addition to significant Artist Grants, the competitors receive artist mentorship, networking, and overall support to further their artistic pursuits and professional pathways of artistic expression. The Gold Medalist receives a $100,000 Artist Grant. ArtsForce has a four-pronged goal:
- Showcase the incredible artistic talent that exists within the active duty military and veteran communities
- Provide significant resources, professional development, and networking opportunities to empower artists with a military background to fulfill their artistic goals and impact their country and our overall society through professional artistic contributions
- Develop and nurture a strong supportive network of those pursuing the arts with a military background
- Demonstrate the strong alignment between the performing arts and the military highlighting its historical significance
Historically, music of various genres has been an integral part of military culture, whether in America or worldwide, dating back to the 13th century, when the Ottoman Empire began to incorporate early concepts of a band. Music has been composed to serve as the foundation for many military events as well as recruitment, motivation, and diplomacy. For centuries, music has been used to encourage and inspire as well as intimidate and overwhelm. During the American Civil War, music played a prominent role on both sides of the conflict to recruit as well as boost the morale of fellow soldiers. As you know, even our Commander-in-Chief’s formal entrance to a space or an event is marked with music. Today, the connection between the arts and the military is underscored not only through military activities, events, and missions but also through the avenue of healing including important work being done by organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts and Americans for the Arts.
The objective of ArtsForce is to serve as the largest competitive arena for the performing arts associated with veterans and those transitioning from active duty military careers. The programming is centered around the main ArtsForce Competition which includes a large-scale national call for entries reaching out to all military branches, the Veterans Administration and a breadth of veterans organizations.