—10/22/14—Photos available upon request, or at www.facebook.com/alaforveteransINDIANAPOLIS – The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) was honored by the Americans for the Arts with the Outstanding Contribution to the Arts Award for the Auxiliary’s important work in helping veterans heal through the arts, most notably through the ALA’s 14-year co-sponsorship of the annual National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. Americans for the Arts presented its prestigious National Arts Awards in New York City earlier this week.
The National Arts Awards recognize artists and arts leaders who exhibit exemplary national leadership and whose work demonstrates extraordinary achievement. They are individuals who share a common belief in the power of the arts and arts education to enrich individual lives and communities alike.
Since 2000, the American Legion Auxiliary has played a key role in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival as a co-sponsor of the event, along with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In addition to raising funds, ALA departments (states) also provide volunteers who assist with everything from punching meal tickets to stuffing programs to ironing costumes for the stage show.
The national award was presented to the ALA by retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Nolen Bivens and accepted by National President Janet Jefford. “Every year, more than 8 million veterans receive care through the VA healthcare system, many of whom use the arts to heal,” Jefford said. “We are grateful for this recognition of the important work our humble volunteers facilitate through the healing arts.” Jefford graciously dedicated the honor to our U.S. veterans.
Actor, director and producer Ben Stiller was among those attending the ceremony and presenting an award. Other recipients at this year’s awards ceremony included Richard Serra, Lifetime Achievement Award; David Hallberg, Bell Family Foundation Young Artist Award; P.S. ARTS, Arts Education Award; Vicki and Roger Sant, Eli & Edythe Broad Award for Philanthropy in the Arts; and Madeleine H. Berman, Legacy Award.
“At Americans for the Arts, we are thrilled to be honoring such a tremendous group of artistic visionaries and leaders,” said President and CEO Robert L. Lynch. “[They] have all contributed enormously to America’s artistic and cultural legacy. Their persistence and extraordinary achievements have already served as an inspiration, and their work will no doubt change the future of the arts in America for the better.”
Prior to the award being presented onstage, a video produced by AFTA about the ALA and veterans’ art therapy was shown: vimeopro.com/tvmambo/mamboarts/video/108940084).
American Legion Auxiliary members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value of more than $2 billion. To learn more about the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, or to volunteer, donate or join, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org.
###Contact: Stacy Poca, 317-569-4565, spoca@ALAforVeterans.org