Veterans Services

About Veterans Services

Art Spark Texas (formerly 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 offer writing workshops for current and prior service members and their family members in Austin, Temple, and Killeen. Click here for a list of current classes.

Art Spark Texas is a collaborator with the Austin Veteran Arts Festival, a project of the Veteran Suicide Prevention Channel. The month long festival is happening October 12-November 16, 2019 with creative events by Veterans and family members all over the city of Austin.

Art Spark Texas is producing the following AVAFest events:

AVAfest Veteran Conferences banner

Veteran Writers Conference
October 26 & 27, 2019

Austin Central Library
Special Events Center
710 West Cesar Chavez Street
Austin, TX

Saturday, October 26, 2019

  • 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    • Jack Woodville London: Director of Writing Education for the Military Writers Society of America
    • Daniel Garcia Ordaz: aka The Poet Mariachi
    • Matt Cook: screenwriter, director and producer
    • John M Meyer and Karen Alvardo, co-Artistic Directors of Thinkery and Verse
  • 5:00 – 8:00:
    • Open Mic and Musicians Showcase

Sunday, October 27, 2019

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
    • Creativity Workshop:
      We will discuss the nature of creativity and conduct exercises on creativity. We will then use this new information to conduct several writing and thinking exercises using our creative imagination. Led by Daniel Garcia Ordaz, founder of the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival.
  • 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    • Film Screening and panel:
      The Long Road Home, Episodes 1 & 2
      National Geographic “The Long Road Home” based on the New York Times-bestselling book by Martha Raddich.
    • Moderator: Katherine Willis: actress best known for her role on NBC's Friday Night Lights; portrayed Cathy Smith in The Long Road Home.
    • Guest panelists: Mikko Alanne, Executive Producer; Aaron Fowler and Eric Bourquin, Veterans of “Black Sunday”, the battle for Sadr City, Iraq; Melissa Wylie, Line Producer.

To register or for more information:

Additional Workshop for Writers

Monday, October 28, 2019
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Austin Central Library
710 West Cesar Chavez Street
Austin, TX

  • A Nine-to-Three Writing Workshop for Veterans and Family Members
    • Led by Jack London and instructors from the Military Writers Society of America
    • In this writing workshop we will focus on the things that all of us need help with - organizing the non-fiction and fiction book, story arcs, conflicts, characters and dialogue, and memoirs - the things we want to write.
    • I’m Jack London, the Director of Writing Education for the Military Writers Society of America. Not only are all our workshop faculty veterans but we also are veterans who have won awards for our writing, veterans helping veterans and writers helping writers. We do not charge for the workshop. Our reward is the best reward of all: the satisfaction from giving back with our talents to help you with yours.

To register or for more information:

Veteran Health and Wellness Conference
November 2 & 3, 2019

Austin Central Library
Special Events Center
710 West Cesar Chavez Street
Austin, TX

Saturday, November 2

  • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
    • Ron Capps, Veteran Writers Project and O Dark Thirty
    • Chef Andre Rush, former White House Chef
    • Jamie Peterson, Expressive Art Therapist
    • Salina Loriaux, MPS, LPC-1, Creative Arts Therapist
    • Demonstration stations: AcroYoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, meditation and more.
  • 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
    • Information tables and health screenings:
    • Austin Public Health
    • Veterans Restore
    • Austin Integral care
    • American Red Cross
    • Suicide Prevention Hotline
    • NAMI
    • Central Health
    • Ascension-Seton VA Navigator Information
    • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
    • Heroes Night Out
  • 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    • Musicians Showcase and hands-on expressive arts activity stations

Sunday, November 3

  • 10:00 – 12:00
    • TBA
  • 1:00 – 2:30
    • Kate Cleary, Certified Tamalpa Life/Art Therapist. A gentle, expressive arts and resiliency process to move you from trauma to healing.
  • 3:00pm – 3:30 pm
    • Drum Circle with Mary Oliver

To register or for more information:

Exit 12 Dance Residency

  • (more details to come)

Veteran and Family Art Exhibits in over 15 venues


Art Spark Texas (formerly VSA Texas) works with arts organizations statewide to forge partnerships with vet organizations to provide art programs for veterans and military families. 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 at 512-454-9912 or

The arts are important to veterans because for many returning military personnel it is a way to express all that they saw, heard, and experienced during war. It is also important to civilians to understand what our veterans have been through and to open pathways of communication.

Funding for the 2018/19 Distinguished Artist Veterans program of Art Spark Texas is funded by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Aairs and the state and local arts agencies. This initiative serves the special needs of military patients and veterans with traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions, as well as their families and caregivers. Administrative support for this initiative is provided by Americans for the Arts.

Texas Folklife and Art Spark Texas present stories for creative forces listening party

Listen to Art Spark Texas Artworks Director April Sullivan on KOOP Radio in Austin (August 2019), discussing the Veterans Writing Workshops and Listening Event, and reading selections from the 2019 collection of published writings The Re-Integration Project.

Veteran speaking at podium during event
scrabble tiles spelling "she served too"
gallery wall with mulitple pieces of art
Art Spark Texas logo

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