The Austin Veteran Arts Festival celebrates veterans, active duty military, family members, and school children as a means of unifying Veterans and their communities through the arts. The goal is to demonstrate how the arts can serve as a healing force on the issues that influence veteran and active duty service member’s physical, mental and emotional health.
AVA Fest is a 2-month extravaganza of music, art, theater, dance, spoken word, poetry, comedy, and conferences, all aimed at inspiring and acknowledging the restorative value of the arts.
VISUAL ART EXHIBITIONS
There are 17 art exhibits featuring over 100 artists from across the U.S. in venues across the city. All exhibitions were curated by Art Spark Texas (formerly VSA Texas).
Highlights of these visual art exhibitions include:
A display of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) altars in memory of Latino Service Members and Veterans who are Deceased, MIA, KIA, or POW at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.
Heroes Around Me, a partnership with Texas PTA Reflections, is an art, photography, and video exhibition featuring work by ninety K-12 youth from across Texas, offering a view of their military family members.
I Am Not Invisible – thirty portraits of Texas female veterans presented by the Texas Veterans Commission to increase awareness and dialogue about women veterans and their contributions, needs, and experiences.
For two days, screenwriters, playwrights, poets, novelists, documentarians and more will come together to share their craft with veterans and other community members.
Highlights of the Writers Conference include:
A Nine-to-Three Writing Workshop, led by Jack Woodville London, Director of Writing Education for the Military Writers Society of America.
A conversation with Matt Cook – screenwriter, director and producer.
A talk by Daniel Garcia Ordaz, aka The Poet Mariachi, and organizer of the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival.
Screening of two episodes of The Long Road Home, produced by National Geographic, and based on the book by Martha Raddatz. Panelists include actress Katherine Willis, Executive Producer Mikko Alanne, and two Iraq war veterans who served as Advisors.
In addition to the above, there is a HEALTH AND WELLNESS CONFERENCE featuring Ron Capps, Veterans Writers Project and O-Dark-Thirty, as well as numerous health care and mind-body practitioners who serve veterans and military families.
Stay tuned for more information about this exciting Festival in Austin, Texas!