The 2018 National Veterans Creative Arts Competition began Jan. 1 and will continue into March. Veterans who are currently enrolled at VA facilities or outpatient clinics are encouraged to submit their art, music, dance, drama and creative writing into the local round of the competition.
Most VA facilities will welcome the public to visit and view the veterans’ art and performances.
The competition has five main categories:
- Creative Writing
With more than 1,700 submissions at the national competition level in 2017, the art category has been the most popular among veterans. The art category is broken down into 51 sub-categories, giving contestants plenty of options.
The music division, which is also very popular, is broken down into vocal and instrumental sub-divisions and contains 45 categories. Solo performers and groups are welcome to submit their performances. The 45 categories are separated by musical style.
The writing category allows veterans to submit their poems, essays and short stories. Submissions are judged by use of language, originality of topic or idea, creative content, message clarity and overall strength of the composition.
Veterans can submit their performance pieces for the drama category, which are judged based on stage presence, expressiveness and interpretation. The competition is open to both solo and group performances.
Vets who are interested in dance performances can prepare their routines for videotaping and submit them to the competition. Dance categories include ballroom, tap, jazz, ballet, country, folk, cultural, interpretive movement and novelty.
Most VA facilities hold their local rounds of competitions in February, but some may hold them in January. Check with your local VA facility for their schedule.
Veterans must work with a staff person from the VA facility where they are enrolled. If vets need assistance in identifying a VA staff person from their facility, they can contact Amy Kimbler, Program Specialist at Amy.Kimbler@va.gov or Elizabeth Mackey, Director at Elizabeth.Mackey@va.gov. Visit their website at www.creativeartsfestival.va.gov for more information.