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A man playing a saxophone on stage. Painting of a hand cupped around a tiny infant. Vibrantly colored painting of geometric renderings of faces. A woman sculpting a bust out of clay. Close-up of a painting of a human eye in shades of black, red and orange. A woman performing in a play on stage. A young boy smiling at a hand puppet. An exuberant group of participants in the Actual Lives program. A young boy participating in the Arts Alive program. Painting with white and blue hair-like strokes on a background of deep turquoise. Man in a wheelchair viewing artwork in a gallery. Blind artist standing in front of his work. Group of women performing with colored scarves. Man speaking into a microphone with open captioning on a large screen behind him. Group of young students playing a musical game with the teacher.

Programs - Veteran Services

VSA Texas started services specifically for veterans with disabilities/wounded warriors in 2009. We host an annual exhibition of veterans artwork and provide opportunities year-round for artists to get involved with our Artworks: Creative Industries professional development program. We also work with arts organizations statewide to forge partnerships with vet organizations to provide art programs for veterans and military families.

The 7th Annual Distinguished Artist Veterans Exhibit

Deadline: August 1, 2016

VSA Texas invites all Veterans with Disabilities/Wounded Warriors living in Texas to submit artwork to the seventh annual Distinguished Artist Veterans exhibit. This year we are combining our art exhibit with our new Writing class and calling it The Re-Integration Project: a writing and art collaboration for Texas Veterans. There is no fee to submit artwork to this call for entries and artwork in all media are eligible. The exhibit will be on display at the Terrazas Branch of the Austin Public Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78702 from August 31-October 24, 2016. A reception and reading of veteran writings will be held on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 from 7- 8:30 pm as part of the library’s Aural Literature program. For an entry form, please contact April Sullivan or call 512-454-9912.


The Re-Integration Project: Fiction Writing Workshop for Veterans
Hosted by VSA Texas
AGE Building, Founders Room 130 3710 Cedar Street, Austin, TX 78705
Six weekly sessions June 12 - July 17, 2016 Sundays 1-4 pm
Instructor: Cecily Sailer
Register by calling 512-454-9912 or email Lynn Johnson. Space is limited. Any experience level welcome.

This six-week fiction writing workshop is open to beginner and experienced Veteran writers. The workshop will introduce writers to works of contemporary short fiction, which we will use as models and inspiration for our own work. We will write in and outside of class and share our work with the group. We will also provide supportive and constructive feedback for others.

Cecily Sailer holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Houston. She has taught writing to people of all ages, and runs creative writing programs for the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation. She is also a coach and consultant for Write by Night and occasionally reviews books for The Dallas Morning News.

Download Re-Integration flyer.

Funding for this project provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

2016 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival

Congratulations to veteran artists Frank Gady and Alberto Pancardo, Jr. Both of them entered the local VA Creative Arts Competition at the Austin VA Outpatient Clinic earlier this year and they have been chosen to represent Austin in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival being held in October 2016 in Jackson, Mississippi.

Event Time and Location
This Event is Open to the Public - Sunday, October 16, 2016
Thalia Mara Hall
255 Pascagoula Street
Jackson, Mississippi
Art Exhibit and Creative Writer’s Meet & Greet – 12 Noon – 1:45 pm
Stage Show - 2:00 pm

Presented by:
The Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Legion Auxiliary. The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival (NVCAF) is the celebration and grand finale stage and art show, which are the culmination of talent competitions in art, creative writing, dance, drama and music for Veterans treated in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national health care system.

Captions: Luminaria, Glazed Ceramics, by Frank Gady (left)
Anxiety and Patience, String Art, by Alberto Pancardo, Jr. (right)

The 7th Annual Distinguished Artist Veterans Exhibit

Please check back for information on the call for art for the 2016 exhibition by Texas Veteran Artists.

(l-r) Gild the Lili © 2014 Louis A. Garcia; Buffalo Soldier Horace © 2014 Perry Jeffries; Persistence © 2015 Harvey Crouch

Distinguished Artist Veterans: Working with Military Families in Texas

Based on our research in partnership with the Texas Commission on the Arts, we have found there is a growing need for arts related services for Texas veterans and military personnel in our communities. If you are an arts organization interested in learning more about providing art programs for veterans, examples of successful programs, and trainings on working with veterans and military families, please contact us. Download the Brochure Here

Looking for ways to connect with veterans in your area? Meet a peer specialist in your community through Visit Bring Everyone in the Zone.

Summary Reports from the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military

A National Action Plan is being developed that will ensure the availability of arts interventions for our service men and women and their families, and integrate the arts as part of the “Standard of Care” in military clinical as well as programs in community settings across the country. Read these two reports to find out what is happening around the US on this topic.

Download Report #1

Download Report #2

Veterans and the Arts: A Compilation of Resources

Thanks to funding from the National Arts and Disability Center and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation we have developed a map and spreadsheet highlighting veteran specific arts programs happening all over the United States. Download the Resource and the Map Here

The Americans for the Arts is also working to compile a complete directory of individuals and organizations that support or provide programs and services, or information and resources in or about the arts for military service members, veterans and their families. View the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military Network Directory.

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