Through Sunday, hundreds of artists and spectators will walk through the Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House in Boston viewing remarkable sculptures, paintings and carvings. And they’ll watch, captivated in their seats at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, as performers sing and dance throughout the evening. The artwork is museum quality, and the performances are at a professional level. But the artists themselves aren’t from Broadway. They’re from the battlefield.
Veterans have gathered for the 2012 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival already underway in Quincy, Massachusetts. The show is the culmination of talent competitions in art, creative writing, dance, drama and music for Veterans treated in the VA national health care system.
Approximately 120 Veterans will be exhibiting their artwork or performance in music, dance, drama and writing selections that will be featured in a gala variety show atmosphere with a professional orchestra to accompany the performance. All Veterans invited to participate are selected winners of year-long, national fine arts talent competitions in which thousands of Veterans enter from VA medical facilities and clinics across the nation.
If you’re in the Boston area, I invite you come on down to the event. Listen to the sounds and see the results of therapy advanced by art, because that’s the story of the Festival. Veterans of all ages, branch, and background join together to show how their own artistic expression has helped them to recover from PTSD, TBI and other disabilities.
If you’re not in the area, you can still participate. Join the conversation on Twitter by following @VAadaptiveSport and using the #NVCAF hashtag, or follow along on our website.
However you choose to do it, support these incredible Veteran artists as they make their way through their therapeutic recovery by participating in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival.
Liz Mackey is the director of the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival.