Bay Pines to Host Creative Arts Festival Local Competition – Feb. 14 - Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
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Bay Pines to Host Creative Arts Festival Local Competition – Feb. 14

January 29, 2019

Pictured in photo: Self-taught painter Veteran Scott Suits proudly displays his Creative Arts Competition submission.

Bay Pines, Fla. – The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System’s (VAHCS) C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center will host the annual Veterans Creative Arts Competition on Thursday, February 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The event will take place in the JC Cobb room located on the first floor of the main medical center building. Click here for driving directions and a campus map.

Held in conjunction with VA’s National Salute to Veteran Patients Week – a week designated to pay tribute and express appreciation to Veterans - the competition includes 50 categories in the visual arts division that range from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits.  In addition, there are 82 categories in the performing arts pertaining to all aspects of music, dance, drama and creative writing.

Veterans, family members, VA staff, volunteers and the general public are encouraged to attend the event to enjoy art displays, performances and more. 

“Each year, I look forward to seeing the creative displays submitted to the competition. Giving Veterans an opportunity to express themselves through different forms of art is important and is often utilized as a coping and life-saving tool needed for rehabilitation,” said Paul Russo, Director, Bay Pines VAHCS.

Nationwide, medical facilities like the Bay Pines VAHCS use 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.

Through a national judging process, first, second and third place entries in each category are determined. Select winners will be invited to attend the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival in October 2019.  

To learn more about the Veterans Creative Arts Festival local competition please contact Erin Todd, Music Therapist at 727-398-6661, extension 15884. To learn more about the national program, please visit:

Media interested in covering the event are encouraged to contact the Bay Pines VAHCS Office of Public Affairs at 727-398-6661, extension 14110, or email

About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System: The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation’s leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 4,300 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is the fifth busiest VA health care system in the country in terms of patients served and is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations. The Bay Pines VAHCS operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring. To learn more, please visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at