Winchester, CA – Each year, Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers across the nation prepare veterans for participation in the annual National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. The Festival is a wonderfully therapeutic talent competition that includes dozens of categories in art, music, dance, drama, and creative writing.
The journey begins for a veteran with participation in local competitions; winners move on to regional competitions. Many first place recipients are invited to attend the Festival event, which this year will be held in Fayetteville, Arkansas from October 17-23.
The purpose of the Creative Arts Festival is to recognize veterans for their outstanding artistic accomplishments while educating the public about the therapeutic benefits that the arts have on veterans.
“For these veterans, art and creative expression is absolutely rehabilitative and therapeutic,” said President and CEO Mike Lynch of Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV), a Festival co-sponsor. “Many of the veterans participating in the Festival discovered their passion for art through the completion of an HHV craft kit. HHV kits are often prescribed as part of a rehabilitation program to both in- and out-patient veterans at VA medical centers as well as military hospitals.” Since 1971, HHV has donated over 27 million therapeutic arts & crafts kits to military and VA hospitals as well as state veterans nursing homes nationwide. HHV has supported the Festival since 1990, having established its national co-sponsorship in 1994.
The Festival’s art exhibit begins on Sunday, October 23 at 12:30 p.m. followed by a gala stage performance with full orchestra at 2:00 p.m. While admission is free, tickets are required. For ticket and other Festival information, please call VA’s National Veterans Creative Arts Festival headquarters at (479) 444-4064. You also may visit www.va.gov and click on “media room.”