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LEEDS — On Friday, Sept. 22, artwork by local veterans will be on display to the public at the VA Central Western Massachusetts Recreation Auditorium from 1 to 4 p.m. More than 70 pieces of art from among 14 different categories will be exhibited.

VA medical facilities incorporate creative arts into their therapy programs to further rehabilitation for both inpatients and outpatients. This annual competition recognizes the progress and recovery made through that therapy and raises the visibility of the creative achievements of U.S. veterans.

Finalists will advance to the national level, where they will compete with entries submitted by veterans from other VA facilities from across the country. The competition is an annual event that provides veterans receiving treatment at VA facilities the opportunity to participate in creative self-expression in art, creative writing, dance, drama, and music as part of their therapy, and to gain recognition for these artistic accomplishments.

First-place winners from the national competition will be invited to attend the 43rd National Veterans Creative Arts Festival held in the spring of 2024 in Denver.