North Texas Veterans Are National Winners - VA North Texas Health Care System
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North Texas Veterans Are National Winners

National Veterans Creative Arts Competition Winners

Winning Veterans pictured with Associate Director Mr. Peter Dancy (left) and Robert Hampton, CTRS, Recreation Therapist (right). Middle (l to r): Richard Benavides, 1st place; Anne Clore, 1st place and John Barrett, 2nd place.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Each year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hosts a National Creative Arts Competition for Veterans. The event is to recognize and showcase the skill and talent of Veterans across the Nation. This year, more than 3,700 Veterans from over 130 VA facilities nationwide entered the competition.

The competition is divided into five divisions, which are:

  • Art
  • Creative Writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Music

Each division has a variety of categories and subdivisions for Veterans to choose from. The entire process has several phases of judging and is voluntary. Veterans are always encouraged to participate.

The competition begins at the local level. VA North Texas had a local Creative Arts Competition from April 2011 to March 2012. More than 140 Veterans entered.

After local judging was complete, all of the first place entries were sent to the national level for more judging. Fourteen Veterans from VA North Texas placed nationally. Although winning on a national level is a great accomplishment, it does not guarantee an invite to the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. Veterans must make it through the third and final phase of the competition to receive an invite.

The national level winning visual art entries are examined again and the performing arts videos are reviewed again to see which artist would be a good fit for the collaborative performance at the festival. From those two processes of examining the art and reviewing the videos, five Veterans from VA North Texas received a special invite to the festival.

 John Barrett  2nd place  Vocal Solo Rock
 Richard Benavides  1st place  Figurine Painting
 Anne Clore  1st place  Original Design in Needlework
 Jessie Frank  1st place  Vocal Solo Pop
   1st place  Solo Country/Folk/Bluegrass
 Michelangelo Williams  1st place  Pottery

The National Veterans Creative Arts festival is in Boston, MA from October 8-14. VA North Texas is proud of all Veterans who participated in the competition and congratulates those who placed nationally.


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