Second Lady Karen Pence Visits Creative Forces Site at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson

Friday, February 9, 2018

Second Lady Karen Pence recently visited Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) in Anchorage, Alaska, as part of her national and international initiative, Art Therapy: Healing with the HeART. Mrs. Pence observed a music therapy group session facilitated by Creative Forces music therapist Danielle Kalseth, MT-BC. 

The JBER soldiers in the group shared the positive effects of music therapy in their lives with Mrs. Pence. During their six-week course of progressive therapy, they experienced improved memory, comprehension, speech, and mood. Physically, they are able to control tremors. Even without previous musical experience, the soldiers in the group now play an instrument and perform in the community. In soldiers diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), music therapy can be instrumental to rehabilitation. Music therapists use evidence-based techniques to stimulate speech, movement and cognitive emotions in patients.   

“The Creative Forces music therapy program assists with the needs of military patients and veterans who have been diagnosed with TBI, as well as their families and caregivers,” said Danielle Kalseth, 673d Medical Operations Squadron creative arts therapist/music therapist. “Not only do we provide clinical services, we want to provide patients and their families access to the arts in the community.”

As part of their ongoing strategy to increase access to therapeutic arts activities for military personnel and their families in local communities, an Arts & Military Summit for Creative Forces will be held in Anchorage, Alaska on February 21-22 at Anchorage Community Works and on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. 

Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Department of Defense, to serve the unique and special needs of the more than 500,000 military patients and Veterans who have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health conditions, as well as their families and caregivers.

Americans for the Arts serves as the Cooperator for the Creative Forces project and is compiling a list of potential Creative Arts Therapists (CAT) candidates for future positions with the DoD/VHA/ and VA.  Please respond to the Americans for the Arts/Creative Forces survey questions to become a part of the candidate pool.