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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

Festival Information

  1. All required forms must be completed and postmarked to the National Chairpersons no later than Friday, March 28, 2014 in order for Veterans to be eligible to compete at the national level
    Please note that the 2014 local phase of the National Veterans Creative Arts Competition ended on March 28. 

  2. Eligibility:  Veterans must be enrolled at a VA medical facility or Outpatient Clinic before entering your local competition.  An eligible Veteran can enter the local competition at only one VA facility per year.  This facility should be the site where he/she receives their primary treatment.  He/she can submit an entry in creative writing, dance, drama or music categories with a Veteran or group from another VA facility, but still represents and must go through his/her originating VA facility to enter the competition. 

    Note:  Each Veteran must work with a VA staff person from the VA facility at which he/she receives his/her primary treatment in order to enter the competition, or risk disqualification.

  3. All entries in art, creative writing, dance, drama, and music must be accompanied by the appropriate entry form, and a signed, witnessed and dated release of picture and voice form.

  4. No one Veteran will be allowed to enter more than three categories of any one division and a Veteran can have only one entry per category in each national division.  The divisions are:  Art with 53 categories, creative writing with 19 categories, dance with 31 categories, drama with 22 categories, and music with 45 categories.  Individual categories are listed within each division.  Judges reserve the right to move an entry to another category if the one listed is not appropriate.  First place ties in a category at the local competition MUST be re-judged at the local level as only one entry for each category will be accepted from each VA facility.  A formal competition is not required at the local level but is strongly encouraged.  All eligible Veterans should be given the opportunity to participate regardless of degree of talent.

  5. Although no one Veteran is allowed to enter more than three categories of any one division, this would not include groups of which he/she is a member. 

  6. Veterans are only permitted to enter through one VA facility’s competition per year.

  7. Veterans may not expand the number of their entries in any one division using a different name (for example:  pen names, stage names, different artist names, etc.).

  8. A single entry may not be submitted into two or more categories within the same division.

The national chairpersons and judges of the competitions reserve the right to disqualify an entry if the above rules are not followed.

Downloads

  1. The Department of Veterans Affairs reserves the right to withdraw any works for public display during the local or national competition phase.

  2. Veterans in national first, second and third place groups of up to four in art, creative writing, dance, drama and music will each be presented a medal.  Non-Veterans and Veterans serving as accompanists, or dance partners, or dramatic readers that enhance an entry when a Veteran cannot be found will not receive medals or certificates.  A certificate of recognition will be awarded to each Veteran who is part of a group of five or more in all divisions of the competition.  This includes the Group Art category (35).

  3. Each Veteran must work with a VA staff person from the VA facility at which he/she receives his/her primary treatment in order to enter the competition, or risk disqualification. 

  4. Prior to submitting entries in the competition, eligible Veterans who are also VA employees should discuss leave options/restrictions with their supervisor in the event they might be invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival in October.

  5. Final results of each of the five divisions of competition will be sent out via E-mail and regular mail to staff contact persons in mid-June.  A list of Veterans invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival will also be sent to the staff contact persons of the invited Veterans in mid-June.

National Rules – Art Division

  1. All artwork entered (except for the Military Combat Experience, category 15) must have been created after April 1, 2013. 

  2. Art entries must be submitted as digital images only.  Do not submit the actual art, slide images or photographs of the art as they will be disqualified.

  3. There are two phases to the national level of the art competition.  The first phase is by a DIGITAL format and will determine the top three entries in each category.   By the end of April, the staff contact person listed on the entry form of each of these top three entries will be notified and requested to send the actual artwork to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the final phase of the national art competition.  The phase two judges will determine 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each category.  All 1st place gold medal winners from the National Art Division Competition will be invited to the Festival.

  4. Groups in art are not limited in number of group members.  However no more than 8 eligible Veterans from the first place national competition winning entry in the Group Art category will be funded by the Festival.

National Rules – Performing Arts Divisions

  1. Creative writing, dance, drama and music entries must be video recorded and must be three minutes or less in length.  Any entries reaching the national level that are longer will be disqualified.  Send only the first place winners from your competition.  Only one entry for each category will be accepted from a VA facility.

  2. Once an entry has placed first in the creative writing, dance, drama and music divisions at the national level of competition it is NOT eligible to be entered again.  All entries in the creative writing, dance, drama and music divisions must be recorded after April 1, 2013. Creative writing, dance, drama, and music entries which have not placed first at the national level of competition should not be entered more than two consecutive years.

  3. Entries must be recorded live.  No voice-over dubbing will be allowed.

  4. Groups in creative writing, dance, drama and music are not limited in number of group members.  However no more than 15 eligible Veterans in one group from the creative writing, dance, drama, and music divisions will be funded by the Festival should the entry advance to the Festival.

  5. Title Slides for SharePoint entries, CDs, DVDs, VHS videotapes:  Each entry must have a title slide displayed prior to the entry being shown.  This is crucial to the judging process.  The title slide can be inserted during the editing process or it can be done manually prior to the taping of the Veteran.  A handwritten sign can be held up that states the category, title of piece and name of Veteran or Veterans in the entryPlease do not include elaborate menus or graphics.

  6. Labeling CDs/DVDs/VHS videotapes:  Be sure to label the CDs and/or DVDs, or VHS videotape sent to each division (creative writing, dance, drama, and music) chairperson.  Label it with the name, city and state of your VA facility.  VHS videotapes must be shown in category number order and listed as they are presented on the VHS videotape.  Items received that are not in correct order will be disqualified.

  7. There are three options for submitting entries into the creative writing, dance, drama and music divisions.  The options are listed as follows. 

    • Option 1:  Digital media files uploaded to the Creative Arts Festival SharePoint sitehttp://vaww.visn23.portal.va.gov/stc/2011CAC   The only file extensions that will be accepted are:  .wmv and .mov files (the preferred format is .wmv).  These extensions are the most standard digital formats and can be opened on most computers.  We recommend video files uploaded to the SharePoint site be 65 MB or less.  If entries are not submitted in the formats indicated above they risk not being playable and therefore not able to be judged at the national level of competition.  Entries submitted via the SharePoint site MUST also contain title slides prior to each solo and group entry shown.  Paperwork will still need to be submitted via regular mail (due to Veteran and staff signatures needed).

    • Option 2:  Digital media files provided on individual CDs or DVDs.  A separate CD or DVD must be submitted for each entry in each category.  More than one entry on a CD or DVD will not be accepted.  For data CDs and DVDs, the only file extensions that will be accepted are:  .wmv or .mov files (the preferred format is .wmv).  These extensions are the most standard digital formats which can be opened on most VA computers.  If entries are not submitted in the formats indicated above they risk not being playable and therefore not able to be judged at the national level of competition.  Entries submitted on CDs or DVDs MUST also contain title slides prior to each solo and group entry shown.  Authored DVDs will also be accepted.

    • Option 3:  VHS videotape entries.  Entries submitted on VHS tapes in category order as they have been accepted in past years.  Entries MUST contain title slides prior to each solo and group entry shown on the VHS videotape.  Videotapes must be submitted as VHS tapes.  DVCAM, 8MM or other tape formats will not be playable for National judges and so cannot be judged at the national level.  Entries submitted on DVCAM, 8MM or other tape formats will be disqualified.

Option 1 – Detailed Instructions

Creative writing, dance, drama and music division entries submitted via uploading to the Creative Arts Festival (CAF) SharePoint site http://vaww.visn23.portal.va.gov/stc/2011CAC must follow the instructions below for each division.  The only file extensions that will be accepted are:  .wmv and .mov files (the preferred format is .wmv).  We recommend video files uploaded to the SharePoint site be 65 MB or less.  Entries submitted via the SharePoint site MUST also contain title slides prior to each solo and group entry shown. 

  • Creative Writing entries being submitted via Option 1 must be properly named (as described on page 46) and uploaded to the Creative Arts Festival (CAF) SharePoint site.  An E-mail containing a separate attachment for each entry of the double-spaced typed text (do not send scanned copies of the text) of all creative writing entries MUST also be E-mailed to Liz Nealy (ngraphics04@att.net) or uploaded to the CAF SharePoint site in order for the entry to be accepted and judged at the national level.  Submit the entry and consent forms, list of entries and local level participation form to the National Creative Writing Chairperson, Liz Nealy, Houston, TX VAMC. 

 

  • Dance entries being submitted via Option 1 must be properly named and uploaded to the Creative Arts Festival SharePoint site.  Submit the entry and consent forms, CD, list of entries and local level participation form to the National Dance Chairperson, Rachelle Vishneowski, Albany, NY VAMC.
  • Drama entries being submitted via Option 1 must be properly named and uploaded to the Creative Arts Festival SharePoint site.  Submit the entry and consent forms, list of entries and local level participation form to the National Drama Chairperson, Erin Todd, Bay Pines, FL VAMC.

 

  • Vocal Music & Special Recognition entries being submitted via Option 1 must be properly named and uploaded to the Creative Arts Festival SharePoint site.  Submit the entry and consent forms, list of entries and local level participation form to the National Music Co-Chairperson – Vocal Music, Shep Crumrine, Milwaukee, WI VAMC.
  • Instrumental Music entries being submitted via Option 1 must be properly named and uploaded to the Creative Arts Festival SharePoint site.  Submit the entry and consent forms and list of entries form to the National Music Co-Chairperson – Instrumental Music, Jillian Thompson, Durham, NC VAMC.

Option 2 – Detailed Instructions

Creative writing, dance, drama and music division entries submitted via Option 2 (entries submitted on individual CDs or DVDs) must follow the instructions below within each division.  The only file extensions that will be accepted are:  .wmv and .mov files (the preferred format is .wmv).  Entries submitted on CDs or DVDs MUST also contain title slides prior to each solo and group entry shown. 

  • Creative Writing entries submitted via Option 2 must be submitted on individual CDs or DVDs for each entry.  A separate CD or DVD must be submitted for each entry in each category.  More than one entry on a CD or DVD will not be accepted.  Review your CDs or DVDs and make a copy before mailing.  Label your CDs or DVDs with the name, city and state of your VA facility.  An E-mail containing a separate attachment for each entry of the double-spaced typed text (do not send scanned copies of the text) of all creative writing entries MUST also be E-mailed to Liz Nealy (ngraphics04@att.net) or uploaded to the CAF SharePoint site in order for the entry to be accepted and judged at the national level.  Submit the creative writing entry(ies) on CDs or DVDs, entry and consent forms, list of entries and local level participation forms to the National Creative Writing Chairperson, Liz Nealy, Houston, TX VAMC.

 

  • Dance entries submitted via Option 2 must be submitted on individual CDs or DVDs for each entry.  A separate CD or DVD must be submitted for each entry in each category.  More than one entry on a CD or DVD will not be accepted.  Review your CDs or DVDs and make a copy before mailing.  Label your CDs or DVDs with the name, city and state of your VA facility.  Dance entries MUST be accompanied by the CD accompaniment to be considered for invitation to the Festival.  Submit the dance entry(ies) on CDs or DVDs, entry and consent forms, CD, list of entries and local level participation form to the National Dance Chairperson, Rachelle Vishneowski, Albany, NY VAMC.
  • Drama entries submitted via Option 2 must be submitted on individual CDs or DVDs for each entry.  A separate CD or DVD must be submitted for each entry in each category.  More than one entry on a CD or DVD will not be accepted.  Review your CDs or DVDs and make a copy before mailing.  Label your CDs or DVDs with the name, city and state of your VA facility.  Submit the drama entry(ies) on CDs or DVDs, entry and consent forms, list of entries and local level participation form to the National Drama Chairperson, Erin Todd, Bay Pines, FL VAMC.
  • Vocal Music and Special Recognition entries submitted via Option 2 must be submitted on individual CDs or DVDs for each entry.  A separate CD or DVD must be submitted for each entry in each category.  More than one entry on a CD or DVD will not be accepted.  Review your CDs or DVDs and make a copy before mailing.  Label your CDs or DVDs with the name, city and state of your VA facility.  Submit the vocal music entry(ies) and special recognition entry(ies) on CDs or DVDs, entry and consent forms, list of entries and local level participation form to the National Music Co-Chairperson – Vocal Music, Shep Crumrine, Milwaukee, WI VAMC.

*Note:  The presence of any vocals requires that an entry be classified as a VOCAL entry, not an instrumental entry. 

  • Instrumental Music entries submitted via Option 2 must be submitted on individual CDs or DVDs for each entry.  A separate CD or DVD must be submitted for each entry in each category.  More than one entry on a CD or DVD will not be accepted.  Review your CDs or DVDs and make a copy before mailing.  Label your CDs or DVDs with the name, city and state of your VA facility.  Submit the instrumental music entry(ies) on CDs or DVDs, entry and consent forms, and list of entries form to the National Music Co-Chairperson – Instrumental Music, Jillian Thompson, Durham, NC VAMC.

Option 3 – Detailed Instructions

Creative writing, dance, drama and music division entries submitted via Option 3 (entries submitted on VHS videotape) must follow the instructions below within each division.  Entries submitted on VHS videotapes MUST also contain title slides prior to each solo and group entry shown.  *Note:  Videotapes must be submitted as VHS tapes.  DVCAM, 8MM or other tape formats will not be playable for National judges and so cannot be judged at the national level.  Entries submitted on DVCAM, 8MM or other tape formats will be disqualified.

  • Creative Writing entries submitted via Option 3 must be submitted in the order that the categories are listed in this book.  Items received that are not in correct order will be disqualified.  Review your VHS videotape and make a copy before mailing.  Label your VHS videotape with the name, city and state of your VA facility.  An E-mail containing a separate attachment for each entry of the double-spaced typed text (do not send scanned copies of the text) of all creative writing entries MUST also be E-mailed to Liz Nealy (ngraphics04@att.net) or uploaded to the SharePoint site in order for the entry to be accepted and judged at the national level.  Submit the creative writing entry(ies) on VHS videotape, entry and consent forms, list of entries and local level participation forms to the National Creative Writing Chairperson, Liz Nealy, Houston, TX VAMC.
  • Dance entries submitted via Option 3 must be submitted in the order that the categories are listed in this book.  Items received that are not in correct order will be disqualified. Review your VHS videotape and make a copy before mailing.  Label your VHS videotape with the name, city and state of your VA facility.  Dance entries MUST be accompanied by the CD accompaniment to be considered for invitation to the Festival.  Submit the dance entry(ies) on VHS videotape, entry and consent forms, CD, list of entries and local level participation form to the National Dance Chairperson, Rachelle Vishneowski, Albany, NY VAMC.
  • Drama entries submitted via Option 3 must be submitted in the order that the categories are listed in this book.  Items received that are not in correct order will be disqualified.  Review your VHS videotape and make a copy before mailing.  Label your VHS videotape with the name, city and state of your VA facility.  Submit the drama entry(ies) on VHS videotape, entry and consent forms, list of entries and local level participation form to the National Drama Chairperson, Erin Todd, Bay Pines, FL VAMC.

 

  • Vocal Music and Special Recognition entries submitted via Option 3 must be submitted in the order that the categories are listed in this book.  Items received that are not in correct order will be disqualified.  Review your VHS videotape and make a copy before mailing.  Label your VHS videotape with the name, city and state of your VA facility.  Submit the vocal music entry(ies) and special recognition entry(ies) on VHS videotape, entry and consent forms, list of entries and local level participation form to the National Music Co-Chairperson – Vocal Music, Shep Crumrine, Milwaukee, WI VAMC.

Note: The presence of any vocals requires that an entry be classified as a VOCAL entry, not an instrumental entry. 

  • Instrumental Music entries submitted via Option 3 must be submitted in the order that the categories are listed in this book.  Items received that are not in correct order will be disqualified.  Review your VHS videotape and make a copy before mailing.  Label your VHS videotape with the name, city and state of your VA facility.  Submit the instrumental music entry(ies) on VHS videotape, entry and consent forms, and list of entries form to the National Music Co-Chairperson – Instrumental Music, Jillian Thompson, Durham, NC VAMC.
  1. Following the national judging, all of the first place-winning entries from the national competition in the creative writing, dance, drama and music divisions will advance for viewing and possible selection for inclusion in the 2014 Festival stage show performance.  Some of these first place-winning contestants will be invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival to be hosted by the Milwaukee VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin October 27 – November 2, 2014.  Those invited to attend the Festival will be notified by mid-June, 2014 via their staff contact person.  All national first place-winning contestants from the art division will automatically be invited to attend the Festival and will be notified via their VA staff contact person by mid-June, 2014.

  2. For ALL divisions:  Veterans who have received a gold medal in the same category from any of the 5 divisions (art, creative writing, dance, drama, and music) for two consecutive years must enter a different category the third year.  Failure to comply with this rule will result in the entry being disqualified.

  3. Veterans may not enter the same creative writing, dance, drama and music entry again once it has won first place nationally.  Failure to comply with this rule will result in disqualification of the entry.  Additionally, Veterans should be encouraged to enter new material each year rather than repeat entries.

  4. Funding support and arrangements for travel to and from the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival for those invited Veterans should be the responsibility of the local VA facility.  Housing, meals, ground transportation and other routine expenses during the Festival will be provided through national Festival funds.  These expenses will be provided for up to 8 eligible Veterans in the Group Art category and up to 15 eligible Veterans in the creative writing, dance, drama, and music divisions. 

  5. Those invited to participate in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival will be notified via an E-mail to the VA staff contact person listed on the entry form, no later than mid-June, 2014.  Veterans who are invited and accept the invitation must submit initial paperwork by July 15, 2014.  Invited participants must submit all required Festival registration forms to Milwaukee, Wisconsin host site of the 2014 Festival no later than          August 1, 2014

  6. Performance costumes for winning acts invited to the Festival will be the responsibility of the participant(s).  All participants will be requested to bring black pants or skirts and white, long- sleeved, collared shirts, but other production number costumes such as vests, hats, ties, etc., will be provided.

National Chairpersons

Visual Arts Division

*Be sure to send a cover page with any paperwork that is faxed.

ART Division – Fine Art, Military Combat Experience Categories, and Veterans Day Poster
Marisa Straub (MH-43)
National Art Co-Chairperson
VA Medical Center
5000 West National Avenue
Milwaukee, WI  53295
E-mail: Marisa.Straub@va.gov

ART Division – Applied Art, Group Art, and Special Recognition Categories
Becky Ballard (128/JB)
National Art Co-Chairperson
VA Medical Center
#1 Jefferson Barracks Drive
St. Louis, MO  63125
E-mail: Rebecca.Ballard@va.gov

ART Division – Kit Categories
Nadene Landry (182B)
Visual Arts Assistant
ENRM Veterans Hospital
200 Springs Road (Bldg. 62, Rm. 33D)
Bedford, MA  01730
E-mail: Nadene.Landry@va.gov

 

National Chairpersons

Performing Arts Divisions

*Be sure to send a cover page with any paperwork that is faxed.

CREATIVE WRITING Division
Liz Nealy (117RT)
National Creative Writing Chairperson
VA Medical Center
2002 Holcombe Boulevard
Houston, TX  77030
  Phone: (713) 794-7872
  FAX: (713) 794-7631
  E-mail: ngraphics04@att.net

DANCE Division
Rachelle Vishneowski (117)
National Dance Chairperson
VA Medical Center
113 Holland Avenue
Albany, NY  12208
  Phone: (518) 626-5835
  FAX: (518) 626-5383
  E-mail: Rachelle.Vishneowski@va.gov

DRAMA Division
Erin Todd (11G/RT)
National Drama Chairperson
VA Medical Center
10,000 Bay Pines Blvd
Bldg. 101 D14
Bay Pines, FL  33744
  Phone: (727) 398-6661  x.5884
  FAX: (727) 398-9465
  E-mail: Erin.Todd@va.gov

MUSIC Division – Vocal Solo & Group Categories and Special Recognition
Shep Crumrine (MH)
National Music Co-Chairperson
VA Medical Center
5000 West National Avenue
Milwaukee, WI  53295
  Phone: (414) 384-2000 x42433
  FAX:  (414) 382-5295
  E-mail: Sheppard.Crumrine@va.gov

MUSIC Division –
Instrumental Solo & Group Categories
Jillian Griego (117C)
National Music Co-Chairperson
VA Medical Center
508 Fulton Street
Durham, NC  27705
  Phone: (919) 286-0411 x7728
  FAX:  (919) 416-5913
  E-mail: Jillian.Griego@va.gov

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