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National Veterans Creative Arts Festival

About the Festival

Nationwide, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities use the creative arts as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help Veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities. Across the country 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. Select winners are invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival each year.

Date and Location:

October 21 – 27, 2013
Reno, NV

The Veterans invited to participate in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival are selected winners from the 2013 national competition.

Purpose of the Competition and Festival

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.

Download the 2012 festival newsletters

2013 Local and National Competitions

For information regarding entering the 2013 competition, please contact recreation/creative arts therapy staff at the VA facility in which you are enrolled. If you need assistance in identifying a VA staff person from your facility, please contact Amy Kimbler (320) 255-6486 or Elizabeth Mackey, National Director (320) 255-6351.

2013 competition overview

Thank you sincerely for your interest in the National Veterans Creative Arts Competition and Festival!

Benefits of Adaptive Sports

Recent studies indicate that disabled Veterans who participate in adaptive sports report benefits such as:

  • less stress
  • reduced dependency on pain and depression medication
  • fewer secondary medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, hypertension)
  • higher achievement in education and employment
  • more independence


Find a Sports Club


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