2024 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival underway

Posted On: Monday, 13 May 2024

It’s here! — the 2024 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival officially has kicked off in Denver!
Nationwide, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities use the creative arts as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities.
Veterans enrolled at VA health care facilities compete in a local creative arts competition, which includes categories in art, writing, dance, drama, and music. 

Local creative arts competition top winning entries then advance to a national judging process, and first, second, and third place entries are determined at the national level. First place winning veterans are invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, hosted annually by a different VA facility in the U.S.

Co-presented by the VA and the American Legion Auxiliary, veteran performers, artists, and writers are currently attending the 2024 Festival in the Mile High City. The event will culminate later this week in the art and writing exhibitions, and stage show performance. Throughout the week, veterans will rehearse, participate in art and writing workshops, and build friendships with fellow attendees. 

The Auxiliary’s support in volunteer hours and monetary donations makes a big difference to the NVCAF. ALA members of the national Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Committee help in a variety of ways — from registration to sewing, ironing, and steaming costumes, to helping with meals — they always put veterans’ needs first so our heroes can have an incredible Festival week.

The NVCAF gives our nation’s veterans the chance to express themselves through different art mediums, heal from traumatic experiences, and regain the sense of camaraderie that was part of military life. National Headquarters has spoken with many veterans over the years who have experienced PTSD, thoughts of suicide, and other traumatic feelings who have praised the impact art has made on them to heal. 

Through this lifechanging experience, many veterans leave with a newfound sense of purpose, the desire to participate again, and the shared healing power of the arts. 
Be sure to follow the ALA on Facebook and Instagram to see this year’s Festival in real time. Check out the August 2024 Auxiliary magazine for a recap of the event, interviews, photos, and more. 
To learn more about the Festival, go here. View the 2023 competition results here. ALA members: Learn how you can apply for a Veterans Creative Arts Festival Mini Grant through the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation.

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.