Visitors view an exibited piece of art in the String Art Kit category at previous VA National Veterans Creativie Arts Festival. File photo

Veterans Arts Festival kicks off in Texas

The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival kicked off in San Antonio on Oct. 5, with a banquet honoring veteran artists. Open to all veterans receiving care at VA medical facilities, the festival is the climax of a year-long fine arts competition involving nearly 3,500 participants nationwide.

Approximately 120 veteran medal winners in music, dance, drama, creative writing and visual-arts contests competed in the week-long festival, which concludes with a visual-art exhibit and gala variety stage show at the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium on Oct. 11.

VA medical facilities incorporate creative arts into their recreation therapy programs. The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival recognizes the progress and recovery made through art therapy, and increases the visibility of veterans’ creative achievements.

Presented by VA, Help Hospitalized Veterans and the American Legion Auxiliary, this year’s competition was hosted by the South Texas Veterans Health Care System.

“It is truly an honor for the American Legion Auxiliary to support the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival,” Auxiliary National President Rita Navarreté said. “This phenomenal event affords our veterans a unique outlet for their creative expression and is incredibly inspiring for everyone who is privileged to attend.”

The artists will exhibit their work from 12:15 p.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 11, at the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium. At 2 p.m., performers in music, drama and dance, as well as creative-writing winners, will demonstrate their talents during an entertaining stage show backed by a professional orchestra. Heloise, from “Hints from Heloise,” will serve as the festival stage show’s mistress of ceremonies for the first time.

For more information about the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, contact Jose Llamas at (703) 969-9238, or go to the festival’s Web site.