Vets Find Therapy in the Arts
Creative Arts as Rehabilitation
VA medical facilities across the country use the creative arts as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help Veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities.
Each year, Veterans treated at VA facilities compete in a local creative arts competition. The competition includes 53 categories in the visual arts division this year that range from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits. In addition, there are 120 categories in the performing arts pertaining to all aspects of music, dance, drama and creative writing.
A national selection committee chooses first, second and third place winners among all of the entries. The Veterans invited to participate in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival are selected winners from the 2012 national competition.
The 2012 Festival will be hosted by VA Boston Healthcare System and held in Quincy and Boston, Mass. October 8-14, 2012.
The key purpose of the National Veterans Creative Arts competition and Festival is to recognize Veterans for their creative accomplishments and to educate and demonstrate to communities throughout the country the therapeutic benefits of the arts.
The key purpose of the festival is to…demonstrate…the therapeutic benefits of the arts.
In 2012, 3,725 Veterans from 130 VA facilities entered the competition nationwide, with 145 of the medal-winning Veterans earning an invitation to participate in the national festival.
The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival is a week of learning, exploring, fellowship and celebration of the healing power of the arts. Because the gold, silver or bronze medal winners are already selected to participate in the Festival, there is no competition at the event itself. Rather, it serves as a showcase for the top national winners.
During the week of the event, participants may attend classes in fine, applied, and craft art, all taught by local artists. As part of the Festival, Veterans also visit a variety of local attractions including art museums and galleries.
The Festival will culminate on Friday, October 12, with an art exhibit at the Massachusetts State House, featuring all first-place art entries and on Sunday, October 14, with a stage show performance at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in downtown Boston. The stage show is professionally directed with live orchestral accompaniment generously provided by the Music Performance Trust Fund. Tickets are free and actively distributed to assure a full house for the Veterans’ performance.
Hear from Vets participating in the Festival.
The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival is presented each year by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the American Legion Auxiliary.