The museum will be opened by appointment only between the hours of 11:00-4:00. Due to COVID restrictions we are only allowed 4 visitors at a time. Masks must be worn and social distancing will be observed to ensure everyone keeps safe. Because things change so rapidly, please check New Mexico travel advisories before coming from out of state. To make an appointment, please email us at email@example.com or call 505-504-6830. We look forward to hosting you!
The play SHOUT! was inspired by Inner Voices, a story written by Army veteran Theresa Duke for the Museum of the American Military Family’s anthology, SHOUT! Sharing Our Truth: An Anthology of Writing by LGBT Veterans and Family Members of the U.S. Military Services. Lora Beldon, the 2017-2019 museum Artist-in-Residence and museum Director Circe Olson Woessner co-edited the anthology.
Inner Voices had exceptionally compelling dialogue and Beldon and Woessner agreed the story would translate well on stage. Playwright Melissa Rayford seamlessly wove together multiple stories contributed by service members, military spouses, brats and allies into a strong, thought-provoking and poignant piece.
Beldon says, “Shared stories help build and define our identity…help communities learn from each other. People who haven’t experienced what LGBTQ veterans or their families have, can better understand and learn about the subculture through the play.”
In 2018, SHOUT! and the museum’s companion exhibit Still Shouting – Memories from Inside the Closet received the American Association for State and Local History’s prestigious Albert B. Corey Award, gaining national recognition for the museum.
SHOUT! debuted in Richmond, VA, on September 22, 2019 and received positive reviews.
Rayford, who also directed the Richmond performance said, “It is our hope…that we create a production to be used by any theatre group wishing to produce this subject matter.”
While the 2020-2021 Covid pandemic sidelined further stage performances, it did not stop Beldon and Woessner from collaborating with Dr Deborah Cohler (San Francisco State University) and Dr. Erica Chu (Truman College) to create educational materials based on LGBTQ and military history and stories in the script to help enhance the audience experience and to provide further education by facilitating post-play discussion.
In December 2020, Los Angeles based director, Herb Hall led nine actors in a virtual reading of SHOUT!.Navy veteran Kayt Peck reviewed the online reading saying,
“I applaud the Museum of the American Military Family in their efforts to acknowledge LGBTQ service members, especially those who spent years, even decades serving in silence, protecting a country that did not recognize them as worthy citizens. This remains a dedicated mission for the Museum even as Covid makes live theatre an impossibility.
“SHOUT! accomplishes a critical need by making discussion of gays in the military not simply a discussion of a concept but also showing the impacts on real people and acknowledging the talents and dedication of LGBTQ service members. Those talents help make the military the efficient and effective component of society that it can and must be.”
Hall will be directing a virtual one-day matinee performance of SHOUT! on June 27, 2021 at 2 PM PDT. The museum board and cast are raising funds to cover expenses through a dedicated fundraising platform.
Air Force Spouse Aimee Hanebeck, one of the many volunteers working tirelessly to ensure the play moves forward says,
“This is an important work of theater and a source of great pride for the museum to have curated the stories for the play. In this innovative time of a post-Covid exposed world, artists have found ways to bring their craft to their audience, and as such, SHOUT! will be available in an online performance.
We would like to invite you to be a part of this project. As a nonprofit, the museum is sustained entirely by donations from patrons. In order to uphold the dignity of this script, we have set a goal to fairly compensate the actors and staff, record the performance, and make it available for greater circulation and for use in academic and corporate settings.”
Volunteers have set up a dedicated Fundly account, and anyone who contributes to it will receive a link to the June 27th performance.
The museum is a 501c3 all-volunteer non-profit located in Tijeras, New Mexico, seven miles east of Albuquerque. Visit the museum’s webpage to learn more about SHOUT!
Want to help make a difference while you shop in the Amazon app, at no extra cost to you? Simply follow the instructions below to select “Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center” as your charity and activate AmazonSmile in the app. They’ll donate a portion of your eligible mobile app purchases to us.
How it works:
1. Open the Amazon app on your phone
2. Select the main menu (=) & tap on “AmazonSmile” within Programs & Features
3. Select “Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center” as your charity
4. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 15, 2021
Military Family Museum in Tijeras, NM Reopens with Exhibit Honoring Children of Military Families
TIJERAS, NM—In honor of the “Month of the Military Child” in April, the Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF), located in Tijeras, NM, is featuring its “Military Kids Lives” permanent exhibit – a compilation of photos, documents and stories from those who grew up in the military, along with research from the nation’s leading subject matter experts. After over a year of being closed due to COVID restrictions, MAMF is now reopen Friday and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon and by appointment.
“As a child connected to the military, I understand first-hand the feeling of being 10 and old enough to get a military dependent ID card – a rite of passage, a passport to freedom, and the certainty that I was on my way to becoming a grown-up,” said MAMF founder and director, Circe Olson Woessner, ND. “MAMF connects people like myself who have had similar experiences, always living with the uncertainty of not knowing where you’d be in a year. It’s important for New Mexicans to understand the sacrifices military children also make. This exhibit provides stories with which you can connect and appreciate.”
As part of the exhibit, MAMF is also showcasing books by and for military children (“brats”). MAMF is asking former or current military brats to create a photo book of their life experience as a child which will become part of the exhibit.
The exhibit contrasts and compares the experiences of Hudson Philips, a brat in the 1930’s and 40’s, with those of author Bernard Lee (1950’s and 60’s) and Dwayne Dunn (1980’s and 90’s). Elva Resa Publishing House and Military Kids Lives Magazine are also featured on panels discussing their military child-centric publications.
Visitors can expect to see artifacts, clothing, and books donated by brats who grew up in military families – from Thailand to Texas, Norway to Libya, throughout Europe, the USA, and the Far East.
The exhibit is sponsored, in part, by Home Depot, Daisy BB guns, GCC, Rio Grande Credit Union and Chameleon Kids. Because MAMF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, we suggest a $3 per person admission fee.
Month of the Military Child was established in 1986 by Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger to recognize U.S. military children who have one or both parents serving in the armed forces. As part of that effort, April 30 is recognized as the official “National Military Brats Day.” It is estimated there are around around 15 million military brats in the U.S.
MAMF is NM Safe Certified for COVID-19 Safe Practices. All visitors must wear masks. Per public health orders, MAMF will operate at 33% capacity.
MAMF is located at 546B State Route 333, Tijeras, NM 87059, next to Molly’s Bar.
March 10, 2021
For immediate release
Contact: Dr. Allen Dale Olson, (505) 400-3849, OlsonAllen@msn.com
MILITARY FAMILY MUSEUM SPECIAL HOURS FOR TENTH ANNIVERSARY
In recognition of its tenth anniversary, the Tijeras-based Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF) will open from 1:00 to 3:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday, March 20 and 21. Following Covid protocols, visitors will be limited in number and must wear masks and practice social distancing. MAMF docents have received state certification in Covid practices.
On display will be artifacts from around the world, including garments, tools, and instruments from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, unique items such as a model of the infamous Nazi concentration camp at Flossenheim and some military uniform buttons from the American Revolutionary War.
Visitors can browse in the special collections library and review exhibits illustrating the life of a military kid, the special challenges and achievements of a military spouse, and a description of the world-wide school system operated b y the Department of Defense for military kids.
MAMF was founded on March 23, 2011, and its founder and executive director, Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, says “we would love to receive birthday cards in the mail or by visitors dropping them off during a visit.”
MAMF is at 546B State Highway 333 (Old Route 66) in Tijeras (right next to Molly’s famous destination bar). Admission is $3.00 per visitor. Additional information: www.militaryfamilymuseum.org.
by Allen Dale Olson, Secretary
Museum of the American Military Family
It was probably sometime during the fall of 2010 that I first heard my daughter, Circe, mumbling to herself about a medal for military mothers. Her older son had been deployed to Iraq, and like most mothers of those in military combat zones, she was worried about him. Never mind that her husband had been deployed several times, it’s different when the soldier is your child. “We military moms are tough,” she told me, half-jokingly, “we should get some sort of medal.”
It wasn’t really a medal she was thinking about, but rather, something much bigger. “There must be a museum someplace,” she said and launched another search. Having grown up with my wife and me in military communities, she had heard many speeches and read many publications about the importance of family to a military man or woman. “But there are no museums for military moms,” she sighed. “Or for the spouses or kids. There are museums about battles, squadrons, companies, and ships, but not one museum completely dedicated to the people who stand behind those soldiers, sailors, and airmen.”
A long pause. “So, I’ll start one.”
At first, I considered that comment one of those usually harmless unmeant promises, but a few days later when I asked her about it, I thoughtlessly added that it seemed like something I’d like to help her with.
That conversation resulted in a flurry of calls and talks with her friends and work colleagues and she and I meeting with state officials in an effort to find out how one starts a museum and then operates it after it has been founded. On March 23, 2011, under the business name Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center, we received our tax-exempt status as 501 c 3 and our CRS numbers and documents from the state Public Regulatory Commission and we had a museum, on-line only–with no funding or supporters, but a museum nonetheless.
Ten years later we have three galleries, a special collections library, and a gift shop in a vintage house along Old Route 66 near Albuquerque. We have an operating budget, some volunteers and an enthusiastic and dedicated board of directors. We have permanent exhibits illustrating what it’s like to be a military spouse, or a military kid, and one telling the history of the world-wide school system for military children operated by the Department of Defense. We have a series of revolving exhibits dealing with subjects such as addiction and recovery, military family life overseas, and G. I. humor.
We conduct town hall meetings bringing together the veteran and civilian community for discussions ranging from thoughts on war to helping veterans and their families re-integrate into civilian communities, and we work with the U.S. Immigration Service to host Naturalization ceremonies for military spouses. We have produced documentary films and published a number of anthologies, all first-hand stories about the challenges and achievements of military family life.
From the beginning, we made sure that all our programs, classes, and special events were free to the public. Our board of directors are all volunteers, and we have no paid staff. We have managed all our affairs because of donations and grants.
We have moved three times in our ten years and have now outgrown our current home. Finding a suitable place within our means is our highest priority going forward. We have been blessed with encouragement and cooperation with other museums in the area, and we owe a great deal to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History for hosting our first-ever exhibition and whose staff taught us much about running a museum.
Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, says she is grateful for all the volunteer and professional guidance she has received during the past decade and looks forward to a post-pandemic future of still more programs.
For a complete picture of everything about MAMF and its blogs and podcasts, visit www.militaryfamilymuseum.org.
By W. Umber
Ask your financial advisor about a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) also known as a Charitable Giving Fund. These accounts are setup through the financial services firm of your choice (Fidelity, Ameriprise, USAA, etc.). You can fund this account with cash, stock, or other assets such as IRA minimum distributions, and you recommend an investment strategy once the assets are irrevocably transferred to the DAF. The tax deduction for the charitable donation is taken at the time the assets are transferred into the DAF. Assets can continue to grow in value (tax free) depending on the investments you choose. There may be other tax benefits depending on your situation.
Once the DAF is funded, you recommend “grants” or donations to your charity. You can give anonymously, in memory of someone, or in support of specific projects. The grant is made directly to the charity—no credit cards, checks, or websites to sign up for! You will have a permanent record of the gifts you have made through the fund.
Essentially, this is like having a mini-foundation that you fund and control. Check with your financial advisor to see if this is a good strategy for you, and don’t forget that you can donate to the Museum of the American Military Family through your Donor Advised Fund!
Did you know that you can generate donations while shopping for your valentine, at no extra cost?
Simply start your shopping at smile.amazon.com/ch/45-0935775 to confirm “Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center” as your charity of choice, and AmazonSmile will donate a portion of your eligible purchase price to our organization.
TOPIC: ID CARDS
Everyone associated with the military has got to have an ID card memory! Turning 10 and getting your first one, losing your ID and dealing with that, nostalgically holding on to it long after it expired, the awful picture that could be just about anyone, trying to buy alcohol and being told it didn’t “count..” During the month of March, we want to share your ID Card story!
In your essay, written in first person, please describe to us your most memorable ID card moment/s.
- Essays must be no more than 800 words.
- Please include your name and phone number along with your essay submission.
The first 4 entries will receive a patch or pin donated by Military Brat Seal, and the first-place winner will receive a “goody box” of awesome prizes. If you’ve submitted a story in a contest before—that’s okay!
All entries will be posted on FB and in one, or more, of our blogs. All submissions must be emailed to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.