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VA Black Hills Health Care System is seeking entries for their annual creative arts competition. This is an exciting opportunity for Veterans to demonstrate their skills in visual arts, creative writing, and performing arts.

Veterans enrolled at VA BHHCS or a resident in a state Veteran’s home are eligible to compete. The art must have been created after April 1, 2017, with an exception for Military Combat Experience entries. All submissions must be received by the Feb. 16 deadline to compete in the Fort Meade show or by March 2 to compete in the Hot Springs show.

The public is invited to view entries at each competition. The Fort Meade show is March 7 in Building 145, Classroom 108 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and on March 14 in the Domiciliary Auditorium from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Hot Springs VA.

The competition includes 51 categories in the visual arts division that range from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits. In addition, there are 100 categories in the performing arts division including all aspects of music, dance, drama, and creative writing. A panel of local artists will judge entries based on creativity, skill, originality, and overall presentation. Select winners at the local level are invited to compete at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival.

The purpose of the National Veterans Creative Arts competition is to recognize Veterans for their creative and artistic ability and to demonstrate the therapeutic benefits of the arts.


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Creative art therapy is recognized by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help Veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities.

For rules and registration information, please contact Mike Ellis at 347-2511 extension 7658 (Fort Meade) or Mary Culbertson at 745-2000 extension 2924 (Hot Springs).

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