The Butler VA will host its 3rd annual Veterans Creative Arts Competition and Festival on September 14, 2023, at the American Legion Post 778 in Butler, Pennsylvania from 1pm-7pm. Veterans submitting artwork to this year’s local competition need to drop off their submissions by September 1, 2023.
“Utilizing the arts as a therapeutic approach to depression, anxiety, pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, war injuries, etc. is changing the lives of our Veterans,” stated Karen Dunn, Butler VA’s Veterans Creative Arts Festival Coordinator.
The competition includes five divisions: music, art, creative writing, drama, and dance. The annual competition recognizes the progress and recovery made through creative therapies and raises the visibility of the creative achievements of our nation’s Veterans.
All 1st place winners in the Butler VA’s local competition advance to compete in the National Veterans Creative Arts Competition. From there, all 1st place winners in the National competition are invited to the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival the following April (2024). All expenses are paid for the Veteran to attend. With over 4,000 entries in the 2022 competition, winning 1st place is a great achievement.
“We held our first event in 2021 and we had one National 1st place winner which was exciting, but our event last year was even more exciting with two 1st place, one 2nd place and three 3rd place National winners!” added Dunn.
During the local Veterans Creative Arts Competition and Festival on September 14, Veterans, their families, and the public may view all the creative art submissions from local Veterans competing this year. Veterans will be performing their music and creative writing submissions live. Veterans and the community are also invited to vote for the “People’s Choice Awards” on the creative art submissions. VA resources and information, onsite creative workshops such as painting, yoga, and photography, and food will be available at this year’s local festival.
The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival was created in 1989 when the Music Festival and VET ARTS merged. These two competitions started in 1981 which means Veterans have been competing for over 40 years.
Since 2000, the American Legion Auxiliary has co-presented the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, alongside the Department of Veterans Affairs. This year, local American Legion Auxiliary Post 778 is sponsoring the Butler VA’s local Veterans Creative Arts Festival.
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