Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP)
Sustaining & Scaling ASAP’s Community Arts Programs through COVID-19 Pandemic
Armed Services Arts Partnership cultivates community and improves well-being for veterans, service members, military families, and caregivers through the arts. ASAP delivers art classes teaching comedy, creative writing, improvisation, acting, drawing, and storytelling. A 2018 evaluation funded by BWF found that veterans and military family members who participate in ASAP programming experience increased social support, sense of purpose, resilience, and self-esteem. However, physical distancing mandates implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic have put ASAP participants at a heightened risk for social isolation, loneliness, and adverse mental health outcomes. This NFL-BWF Healthy Lifestyle and Creating Community (HLCC) grant will launch new virtual programs and community engagement initiatives to ensure that ASAP participants and alumni have sustained access to evidence-based community arts programming, increasing their social support and well-being through and after the COVID-19 crisis. Using virtual programming, ASAP will scale its impact to address national need during the pandemic, focusing outreach on the most at-risk communities. This grant will support the launch of ASAP’s Comedy Crash Course and Comedy Boot Camp programs in at least one new location in 2021, and the development of a new curriculum for storytelling classes and workshops, ultimately creating a scalable Leadership Development Program. In addition, NFL-BWF funding will support new and revised surveys and increased analysis, culminating in a small-scale study on ASAP’s program impact in a virtual setting.