Veterans showcase talent at National Veterans Creative Arts Festival
Exhibit, stage show highlights therapeutic value of fine arts in Kalamazoo, Michigan

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Battle Creek VA Medical Center in Battle Creek, Michigan and VA and the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) hosted 120 Veterans from across the nation for the 2019 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival Oct. 28 to Nov. 3. 

The weeklong festival culminated with an art and writing exhibition, and stage show performance to encourage artistic expression and help Veterans dealing with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health issues. 

“The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival recognizes the top artistic achievements of Veterans and demonstrates to communities the therapeutic benefits of the arts in the lives of our nation’s Veterans,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “For many of these Veterans, creative expression has served as an avenue toward recovery and this week’s event continues that rehabilitation journey.” 

The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, presented by VA and the ALA, features select winners from year-long, national fine arts talent competitions in which more than 3,500 Veterans entered at VA medical facilities nationwide. Veterans representing 130 VA medical centers have competed in local competitions in art, music, dance, drama and writing categories and earned first place recognition for their talent. Veterans will participate in workshops, rehearsals and artistic interaction sessions prior to the grand finale performance. 

Veterans’ artwork was displayed at an art and writing exhibition gallery-style meet and greet at the Miller Auditorium located at 2200 Auditorium Drive, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Performing artists were showcased during a grand finale.