Deadline set for Creative Arts Competition - Milwaukee VA Medical Center
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Milwaukee VA Medical Center


Deadline set for Creative Arts Competition

creative arts festival

Visitors check out works by Veterans during the 2019 Milwaukee VA Creative Arts Festival. Due to the uncertainty of COVID restrictions, it's unclear whether or not this year's festival will be virtual or in-person.

By David Walter
Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Entries are being sought for the Milwaukee VA Medical Center Creative Arts Competition, though the normal timetable has been delayed and organizers are unsure of the competition’s format.

“The competition will be happening, and the deadline for entries is Aug. 2,” wrote Milwaukee VA art therapist Marisa Straub in a letter sent to interested parties. “(But) with COVID restrictions still in place at our medical center, we are unsure what our competition will look like – virtual or in-person.

“We do know that it will be hosted much later in the year, August or September.”

Straub said Veterans may be asked to record themselves and provide images of their artwork due to COVID restrictions.

“There may not be an in-person visual, writing or performing arts show on the VA campus,” Straub wrote. “So much is yet to be determined.”

The recreation/creative arts therapy team has asked Veterans to be patient and “give us time to develop a plan,” Straub wrote.

Organizers plan to send out entry forms and details on how to submit an entry as soon as possible.

National contest delayed as well

Meanwhile, the National Veterans Creative Arts Competition in St. Petersburg, Fla., has been delayed until April 18-25, 2022. Judging for the national competition will take place in October and November, with the results announced in December.

“The competition phase of the program will be extended to allow more Veterans the opportunity to participate in a local creative arts competition due to multiple factors, including current public health concerns,” Straub wrote.

Music therapist Makenzie Kojis noted that the local competition is the path to the national contest, so the Aug. 2 deadline is important.

“We really want to delineate that the national festival has moved from its usual October-November date to April (of 2022), but the deadline is Aug. 2 to gather local entries,” she said.

Last year, the COVID pandemic forced the national competition to be a virtual event.

Kojis said she’s glad deadlines have been pushed back this year.

“This change feels better so there will be more opportunity for Veterans to get their entries in,” she said, noting that the previous timetable had a February deadline.

“With the old structure, we wouldn’t have been able to capture Veterans’ art-making,” she said. “Back in February, barely anyone had been vaccinated.”

Kojis said some Veterans have been inquiring about the competition, and creative arts team has information about competition categories.

For more information, call 414-382-5070, ext. 45070.


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