IRON MOUNTAIN–  Artistic expression can be an effective and proactive way for veterans to deal with various issues.

That’s why for the 3rd year in a row, the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center hosted a Creative Arts Festival for veterans.

The festival highlights the talents of veterans across the UP.

“As for our local competition, I would really like to see it continue to grow. There are so many people that have different talents here locally, and we really encourage veterans to engage in different things, whether its art or written work, it’s a good way to express their story and share it with others,” says Jordan Fox, Peer Support Specialist.

The festival includes many categories, including poetry, painting, metalwork, song and interpretive dance, to others.

The winners of each category have a chance to go head–to–head against other veterans at the national level in Kalamazoo.