2018 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival (Preview) | American Legion Auxiliary

never underestimate the healing power of the Arts in VA medical facilities across the country the creative arts are used as rehabilitative treatment to help our veterans recover from physical and emotional challenges this helped me it's given me hope it's given me something to live for it's just been a terrific experience it's just so uplifting them you know so I'm just grateful you know there's really really grateful well the creative arts helped me come from a very dark place and your support through donations of time and money is making a difference in the lives of veterans all across the country the National Veterans creative arts festival co-presented by the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Legion Auxiliary recognizes the accomplishments and recovery process of America's veterans through the creative arts therapy of dance art music drama and creative writing in 2018 the festival will be held in Des Moines Iowa and hosted by the Des Moines VA MC over 120 VA medical facilities submit entries into the annual creative arts competition gold medal winners from the national competition are invited to attend the national festival for a week of workshops rehearsals fellowships culminating in an art and writing exhibition and a live stage show production the competition is open to veterans who are enrolled at a VA Medical Center or outpatient clinic before entering local competitions the therapeutic value to participants is striking I I think this is such a great therapy treatment it has really matched up with my PTSD treatment my involvement in the creative arts has allowed me to look at some of the past trauma that I've experienced in the military to get in touch with the less traumatic way of expressing it and it's allowed me to connect with other veterans that also have similar stories but yet portray or express it in different ways when I first got back from overseas the ghosts of the demons that were brought back with me held me captive but through the Veterans Administration through their Hospital and through the activities I've been able to to open up morning I'm finally becoming the person that God meant for me to be teaming with the US Department of Veterans Affairs the American Legion Auxiliary is co-presenter of the National Veterans creative arts festival providing both significant financial support and volunteers that support begins at the local level providing resources and volunteering at VA centers across the country it culminates at the national festival a moving event that takes place in a new city each year many say American Legion Auxiliary volunteers get nearly as much out of the competition as the veterans often describing it as a life-changing experience what a great way to make membership in the American Legion Auxiliary meaningful become involved in the National Veterans creative arts festival there are many ways you can do that by working with your local VA to encourage their participation by volunteering either at the local level or at the national festival by simply attending the festival and supporting the artists there by donating either as a unit or an individual and by spreading the word about this fantastic program regardless of how you support veterans and art therapy you'll be enriched beyond your imagination the public is invited to the veteran art and writing exhibition on Thursday November 1st at the atrium at Capitol Square and the stage show on Sunday 2 p.m. November 4th at the Hoyt Sherman Place theatre for complimentary tickets call five one five three two three one four two seven for more information about the National Veterans creative arts competition and festival go to WWE arts festivals va.gov learn how you can make your AL a membership matter by contacting American Legion Auxiliary national headquarters use our main line at three one seven five six nine forty five hundred or on the web www.storagetankspropane.com you

Michael Martin

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