Veterans Arts Council
Founded in 2015, the Veterans Arts Council (VAC) is a signature program at VFW Post 1 and is open to all military veterans. Operating as its own non-profit veteran organization under the VFW Post 1 umbrella, the VAC showcases, mentors, educates and provides economic opportunities for veteran artists working in any medium from all generations and service backgrounds.
The VAC art gallery at VFW Post 1 is one of the largest galleries in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe and arguably one of the largest showcases of veteran artwork nationally. Veteran artists at the VAC gallery range from those new to gallery representation to artists who are nationally and internationally known. Each year, approximately 150 veteran artists, 80 percent of whom are disabled veterans, are the engine behind the VAC.
With less than 1 percent of Americans currently serving in the military, bridging the gap between veterans and civilians has been a cornerstone initiative of the VFW Post 1 and the VAC. First Friday Arts Walks, hosted by the VAC, are open to the public and attract over 40,000 visitors each year to the gallery. The VAC also welcomes a number of civilian artists to exhibit their work in the gallery, alongside their veteran colleagues.
Beyond the walls of the art gallery, the VAC works with the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System as the authorized non-profit vendor representing all veteran artists displaying and selling their art at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center. The VAC also partners with legislators at the Colorado State Capitol for its “Capitol Arts Project,” pairing VAC members with participating Colorado state legislators to display art in the capitol offices of our state representatives and senators. The VAC also works with public and private community sector partners to create veteran lead art exhibitions at diverse locations around the metro area like Regis University and the Englewood Public Library.