The National Endowment for the Arts, known for its grants to arts organizations and its prizes to individual artists, also has a robust research department.

How does art affect people throughout all stages of life? An NEA-led task force is tackling the question. (DAYNA SMITH/FTWP)

Working under the title of “Human Development,” the task force will bring together 13 agencies and departments to get at questions that have previously escaped studies.

The NEA argued that “major gaps” exist in research that the federal government has sponsored about the outcomes of arts influence all through life.

“It is my job to support artists and arts organizations in their prime mission: making and presenting art. But we also have a responsibility to look beyond ourselves to see the ways in which our work connects with our fellow citizens and the world at large,” said Rocco Landesman, the NEA chairman, in a statement.

The need for the task force, NEA said, grew out of a position paper developed in March by the NEA and the Department of Health & Human Services.

To fill the gap, the NEA announced the task force will coordinate funding opportunities for researchers and those individuals and organizations that deal with the arts, health and education.