- All required forms must be completed and postmarked to the National Chairpersons no later than April 1, 2012 in order for Veterans to be eligible to compete at the national level.
- Eligibility: Veterans must be enrolled at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Outpatient Clinic, or reside in a state Veterans home before entering your local competition. An eligible Veteran can enter the local competition at only one Veterans Affairs facility per year. This facility should be the site where he/she receives their primary treatment. He/she can submit an entry in creative writing, dance, drama or music categories with a Veteran or group from another Veterans Affairs facility, but still represents and must go through his/her originating Veterans Affairs facility to enter the competition.
- Note: Each Veteran must work with a Veterans Affairs staff person from the Veterans Affairs facility at which he/she receives his/her primary treatment in order to enter the competition, or risk disqualification.
- All entries in art, creative writing, dance, drama, and music must be accompanied by the appropriate entry form, and a signed, witnessed and dated release of picture and voice form. (Veterans may obtain entry and consent forms through the staff contact person from the VA facility where they are enrolled.)
- No one Veteran will be allowed to enter more than three categories of any one division and a Veteran can have only one entry per category in each national division. The divisions are: Art with 53 categories, creative writing with 19 categories, dance with 34 categories, drama with 22 categories, and music with 45 categories. Individual categories are listed within each division. Judges reserve the right to move an entry to another category if the one listed is not appropriate. First place ties in a category at the local competition MUST be re-judged at the local level as only one entry for each category will be accepted from each Veterans Affairs facility. A formal competition is not required at the local level but is strongly encouraged. All eligible Veterans should be given the opportunity to participate regardless of degree of talent.
- Although no one Veteran is allowed to enter more than three categories of any one division, this would not include groups of which he/she is a member. Veterans are only permitted to enter one Veterans Affairs facility’s competition per year.
- Veterans may not enter more than three categories in any one division using a different name (for example: pen names, stage names, different artist names, etc.).
- A single entry may not be submitted into two or more categories within the same division.
The national chairpersons and judges of the competitions reserve the right to disqualify an entry if the above rules are not followed.
National Rules – The Competition Phase
- The Department of Veterans Affairs reserves the right to withdraw any works for public display during the local or national competition phase.
- Veterans in national first, second and third place groups of up to four in art, creative writing, dance, drama and music will each be presented a medal. Non-Veterans and Veterans serving as accompanists, or dance partners, or female dramatic readers that enhance an entry when a male Veteran cannot be found will not receive medals or certificates. A certificate of recognition will be awarded to each Veteran who is part of a group of five or more in all divisions of the competition. This includes the Group Art category (35).
- Each Veteran must work with a Veterans Affairs staff person from the Veterans Affairs facility at which he/she receives his/her primary treatment in order to enter the competition, or risk disqualification.
- Prior to submitting entries in the competition, eligible Veterans who are also Veterans Affairs employees should discuss leave options/restrictions with their supervisor in the event they might be invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival in October.
- Final results of each of the five divisions of competition will be sent out via E-mail and regular mail to staff contact persons in mid-June. A list of Veterans invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival will also be sent to the staff contact persons of the invited Veterans in mid-June.
National Rules – Art Division
- All artwork entered (except for the Military Combat Experience, category 15) must have been created after April 1, 2011.
- Art entries must be submitted as digital images only. Do not submit the actual art, slide images or photographs of the art as they will be disqualified.
- There are two phases to the national level of the art competition. The first phase is by a DIGITAL format and will determine the top three entries in each category. By the end of April, the staff contact person listed on the entry form of each of these top three entries will be notified and requested to send the actual artwork to Boston, Massachusetts for the final phase of the national art competition. The phase two judges will determine 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each category. All 1st place gold medal winners from the National Art Division Competition will be invited to the Festival.
- Groups in art are not limited in number of group members. However no more than 8 eligible Veterans from the first place national competition winning entry in the Group Art category will be funded by the Festival.
National Rules – Performing Arts Divisions
- Creative writing, dance, drama and music entries must be video recorded and must be three minutes or less in length. Any entries reaching the national level that are longer will be disqualified. Send only the first place winners from your competition. Only one winner for each category will be accepted from a Veterans Affairs facility.
- Once an entry has placed first in the creative writing, dance, drama and music divisions at the national level of competition it is NOT eligible to be entered again. All entries in the creative writing, dance, drama and music divisions must be recorded after April 1, 2011. Creative writing, dance, drama, and music entries which have not placed first at the national level of competition should not be entered more than two consecutive years.
- Entries must be recorded live. No voice-over dubbing will be allowed.
- Groups in creative writing, dance, drama and music are not limited in number of group members. However no more than 15 eligible Veterans in one group from the creative writing, dance, drama, and music divisions will be funded by the Festival should the entry advance to Festival.
- Title Slides for CDs/DVDs/VHS videotapes: Each entry must have a title slide displayed prior to the entry being shown. This is crucial to the judging process. The title slide can be inserted during the editing process or it can be done manually prior to the taping of the Veteran. A handwritten sign can be held up that states the category, title of piece and name of Veteran or Veterans in the entry.
- Labeling CDs/DVDs/VHS videotapes: Be sure to label the CDs and/or DVDs, or VHS videotape sent to each division (creative writing, dance, drama, and music) chairperson. Label it with the name, city and state of your Veterans Affairs facility. VHS videotapes must be shown in category number order and listed as they are presented on the VHS videotape. Items received that are not in correct order will be disqualified.
- There are three options for submitting entries into the creative writing, dance, drama and music divisions. The options are listed as follows:
- Option 1: Digital media files uploaded to the 2012 Creative Arts Festival SharePoint site. The only file extensions that will be accepted are: .wmv, .avi, or .mpg/.mpeg files (the preferred format is .wmv). These are the only file extensions that will be accepted. These extensions are the most standard digital formats and can be opened on most computers. Paperwork will still need to be submitted via regular mail (due to Veteran and staff signatures needed). The SharePoint link is only accessible by VA staff persons on VA computers.
- Option 2: Digital media files provided on individual CDs or DVDs. A separate CD or DVD must be submitted for each entry in each category. More than one entry on a CD or DVD will not be accepted.
- For data CDs and DVDs, the only file extensions that will be accepted are: .wmv, .avi, or .mpg/.mpeg files (the preferred format is .wmv). These extensions are the most standard digital formats which can be opened on most Veterans Affairs computers. Entries submitted on CDs or DVDs MUST also contain title slides prior to each solo and group entry shown.
- Authored DVDs will also be accepted
- Option 3: VHS videotape entries. Entries submitted on VHS tapes in category order as they have been accepted in past years. Entries MUST contain title slides prior to each solo and group entry shown on the VHS videotape.
National Rules – The Festival
- Following the national judging, all of the first place-winning entries from the national competition in the creative writing, dance, drama and music divisions will advance for viewing and possible selection for inclusion in the 2012 Festival stage show performance. Some of these first place-winning contestants will be invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival to be hosted by the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System in Boston, Massachusetts October 8-15, 2012. In addition, some of the second and third place entries from the creative writing, dance, drama and music divisions may also be considered for possible inclusion and invitation to participate in the stage show performance. Those invited to attend the Festival will be notified by mid-June, 2012 via their staff contact person. All national first place-winning contestants from the art division will automatically be invited to attend the Festival and will be notified via their Veterans Affairs staff contact person by mid-June, 2012.
- For ALL divisions: Veterans who have received a gold medal in the same category from any of the 5 divisions (art, creative writing, dance, drama, and music) for two consecutive years must enter a different category the third year. Failure to comply with this rule will result in the entry being disqualified.
- Veterans may not enter the same creative writing, dance, drama and music entry again once it has won first place nationally. Failure to comply with this rule will result in disqualification of the entry. Additionally, Veterans should be encouraged to enter new material each year rather than repeat entries.
- Funding support and arrangements for travel to and from the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival for those invited Veterans should be the responsibility of the local Veterans Affairs facility. Housing, meals, ground transportation and other routine expenses during the Festival will be provided through national Festival funds. These expenses will be provided for up to 8 eligible Veterans in the Group Art category and up to 15 eligible Veterans in the creative writing, dance, drama, and music divisions.
- Those invited to participate in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival will be notified via an E-mail to the Veterans Affairs staff contact person listed on the entry form, no later than mid-June, 2012. Veterans who are invited and accept the invitation must submit initial paperwork by July 15, 2012. Invited participants must submit all required Festival registration forms to Boston, Massachusetts host site of the 2012 Festival no later than August 1, 2012.
- Performance costumes for winning acts invited to the Festival will be the responsibility of the participant(s). All participants will be requested to bring black pants or skirts and white, long-sleeved, collared shirts, but other production number costumes such as vests, hats, ties, etc., will be provided.
National Veterans Creative Arts Festival
- Event Director
- Elizabeth Mackey
- Media Contact
- Jordan Schupbach
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