Recreation Therapy - Phoenix VA Health Care System
Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Phoenix VA Health Care System


Recreation Therapy

Creative Arts Festival

What is the Creative Arts Festival?

Nationwide, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities use the creative arts as one form of rehabilitative treatment to help Veterans recover from and cope with physical and emotional disabilities.

Across the country each year, Veterans enrolled at VA health care facilities compete in a local creative arts competition. The competition includes categories in the visual arts division that range from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits. In addition, there are categories in writing as well as the performing arts of dance, drama, and music. Local creative arts competition first place winning entries advance to a national judging process and first, second and third place entries in each category are determined. Selected gold-medal-winning Veterans are invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival hosted by a different VA facility each year.

Our Recreational Therapy Service consistently participates in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. The local and national rules do change periodically; therefore, it is important to contact the RT department to receive the most accurate information, current timeline for entry, and local rules.

This year the Phoenix VA Health Care System Creative Arts Festival will be held virtually on September 28, 2021.

Event Timeline:

Now-August 2021 – Access category descriptions on website; Read the PVAHCS 2021 Veteran Instructions Document; Review the event applications to ensure you have all the required information prior to calling in to complete the event entry process

August 23-September 3 – Call ext. 2588 between 9-11 or 1-2 to complete entry application over the phone

September 24 – Last day to submit Drama, Dance, Music or Creative Writing submissions and signed photo release via My HealtheVet

September 27 – Drop off Art Entries in the RT Topaz Clinic between 9-11 or 1-2 and sign a photo release

September 28 – Virtual Event

September 29 – Pick up Art Entries in the RT Topaz Clinic between 9-11 or 1-2

April 18-25, 2022 – National Event in St. Petersburg, Florida

If I want to participate, what should I do:

  1. Review the Veteran Instructions for Creative Arts Show document, this will give you all the general rules associated with the PVAHCS local event.
  2. Review the event category description documents and select the most appropriate category for your entry.
  3. Review the Application Requirements document and make sure you have all the information ready for when you call to submit your application.
  4. Call 602-277-5551 ext. 2588 between August 23 and September 3, 2021 between the hours of 9-11 or 1-2 to apply.
  5. Make sure to plan to drop off your art entry or submit your items per the instructions (see Veteran Instructions for Creative Arts Show document).
  • If you are entering into any Individual Art Category, you will sign the Photo Consent when you drop off your entry.
  • If entering into the Group Art Category, all participants must sign a Photo Consent form and all of them must be turned in when the entry item is dropped off.
  • If you are entering into any Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, or Music categories the submission must be done through My HealtheVet Secure Messaging. Also, you must include a signed Photo Consent form for all participants.

Click below for these important files:
Creative Arts Show Instructions
Artwork Size Restrictions
Photo Consent
Application Requirements

Event Category Descriptions:
Applied Art Categories
Craft Art Categories
Fine Art Categories
Creative Writing Categories
Dance Categories
Drama Categories
Music Categories


Consider visiting the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival Website @ for specific national information. Please note that the local rules may differ from the National Handbook.


Contact Info


  • Phoenix VA Health Care System

Contact Number(s)

  • 602-277-5551 Ext. 7250

Hours of Operation

  • 7:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.