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National Veterans Creative Arts Festival to showcase award-winning Veterans

April 19, 2022, 01:57:00 PM

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National Veterans Creative Arts Festival to showcase award-winning Veterans

WASHINGTON — The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival is back in person for the first time since 2019 and will be held April 20-25 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

This year’s 41st annual event will recognize the progress and recovery Veterans have achieved through therapy while raising the visibility of the creative triumphs of our nation’s Veterans.

Nearly 100 Veterans will be honored for their artistic abilities. Veterans whose art, creative writing, dance, drama and music entries received the highest rankings were invited to the festival. 

Creative arts and music therapists at Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities nationwide use the arts as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help Veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities. The festival is the culmination of a year-long fine arts competition in which a panel of judges reviewed more than 3,600 submissions from Veterans receiving care at 118 VA facilities.

The cultural week in St. Petersburg will offer workshops, artist interactions and a chance to explore the arts on the waterfront. It culminates with a gala style finale at Mahaffey Theater featuring music, drama and dance winners showcasing their talents at 2 p.m., ET, Sunday, April 24. Michael Peterson, multi-Grammy and Country Music Award nominee, will emcee the show.

One of VA’s seven national rehabilitation events, the festival is presented each year with the American Legion Auxiliary and is made possible by corporate sponsors, nonprofit organizations and individual donors. This year’s festival is hosted by Bay Pines VA Healthcare System.

“As the co-presenter of the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, we support this event because of the positive impact it makes on our nation’s Veterans who are using the healing power of the arts,” said American Legion Auxiliary National President Kathy Daudistel.

“Each year, Veterans use the arts to dream beyond their imagination and draw from their inner strength,” said Festival Director Amy Kimbler. “Their creative pursuits are bold; they’re brave and we are able to help them realize everything is possible.”

When Veterans go back to their communities, whether as a first-time or accomplished artist, the festival experience will continue to motivate and inspire them throughout the entire year.

To support Veterans, the public is invited to watch the live performance online and learn more information at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. Follow the activities and VA adaptive sports @Sports4Vets on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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