Oklahoma City VA Health Care System
2020 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival
Local Veterans Win Big at Creative Arts Competition and Advance to the 2020 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival
The Oklahoma City VA Health Care System is proud to announce the local winners from the 2020 National Veterans Creative Arts Competition
Nationwide, 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. Each year, Veterans enrolled at the Oklahoma City VA Health Care System compete in a local creative arts competition. The 2020 National Veterans Creative Arts Competition was held earlier this year in February and included categories in the visual arts, creative writing, dance, drama, and music.
“This event is important for Veterans as it allows them to express themselves creatively and share how they use art as a way to allow them to flourish,” said April Reynolds, Recreation Therapist at the OKC VA Medical Center.
Local creative arts competition first place winning entries advance to a national judging process and first, second and third place entries in each category are determined. Selected gold-medal-winning Veterans will be invited to attend the 2020 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival hosted by the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System and held in St. Petersburg, Florida November 28 – December 5, 2020.
“The Creative Arts Festival is just one of the national rehabilitation events that our program participates in each year,” said Reynolds. “We had 58 veterans with 92 entries across the five divisions of art.”
The Oklahoma City VA Health Care System is proud to announce the local winners from the 2020 National Veterans Creative Arts Competition:
- Nadine Lewis 1st Place, Art, Stained/Painted Ceramics and Glazed Ceramics
- Nathan Strom 1st Place, Tap, Dance, Jazz or Ballet
- James Ferris 1st Place, Drama, Solo Interpretive Performance Drama and 3rd, Drama, Solo Patriotic Prose
- Judith Hogan 3rd Place, Art, Combined Kit
- Tripper Williams 3rd Place, Creative Writing, Essay – Inspirational
- Brenda Harris 3rd Place, Music Senior Instrumental
“I always encourage everyone to engage. It is not always about the competition, but is about connecting and sharing through art. It allows people to see that the Veteran is more than just a former Warrior and they are also more than just a diagnosis” Reynolds said. “They are an artist, something more multifaceted, something complex and have much to offer.”
In 2019, nearly 3,600 Veterans from 130 VA medical facilities entered the art, music, drama, dance and creative writing competitions. Of those, approximately 150 medal-winning Veterans earned an invitation to participate in the 2019 Festival hosted by the Battle Creek VA Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
For more information about this event or information regarding entering the 2021 competition, please contact OKC VA Therapeutic Recreation at 405-456-3918.