Veterans 2004 Creative Arts Festival uses arts as a form of rehab


    Veterans 2004 Creative Arts Festival uses arts as a form of rehab

    Nationwide, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities use the creative arts as a 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 medical centers compete in a local creative arts contest.  This competition includes 47 art categories that range from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits. 

    In addition, there are 87 performing arts categories pertaining to all aspects of drama, dance and music.  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.

    This year, nearly 2,950 veterans from 100 VA facilities entered the contest nationwide, with 142 of the medal-winning veterans earning an invitation to participate in the 2004 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival.  The Festival is being held this year in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 916, 2004, hosted by the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System.

    The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival is a week of learning, exploring, fellowship and celebration of the healing power of the arts.  Because the gold, silver or bronze medal winners are already selected to participate in the Festival, there is no competition at the event itself; rather, it serves as a showcase for the top national winners.  During the week of the event, participants may attend classes in watercolor painting, sand art and clay sculpture, all taught by local artists.  

    As part of the Festival, veterans will visit the Park City’s historic main street and tour the Olympic Park, stroll through the Red Butte Garden and Arboretum and attend a performance of the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Festival activities will take place at the Marriott University Park Hotel in Salt Lake City, with banquets at the University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium and Tower, and the 23rd Floor Event Center in downtown Salt Lake City. 

    The Festival event will culminate on Friday, October 15, 2004, with an art exhibit, featuring all first-place art entries, from 67:15 pm at Gardner Hall, followed by a gala stage show performance at Kingsbury Hall at 7:30 pm.  The stage show is professionally directed with live orchestral accompaniment generously provided by the Recording Industries Music Performance Trust Fund.  Tickets are free and actively distributed to assure a full house for the veterans’ performance. 

    The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival is co-sponsored each year by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the American Legion Auxiliary and Help Hospitalized Veterans.

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