For Immediate Release:
PRIDE! LGBTQ+ Military Family Social
The Shared Voices of LGBTQ+ Military, Veterans, Spouses, Brats and Allies.
Richmond, Petersburg, Hopewell, Tri-city area LGBTQ+ Military and military affiliated organizations have joined together to offer the first ever LGBTQ+ Military Family Pride Social on Saturday, September 1, from 7-9 pm. Come out for an evening of socializing, entertainment, speakers and an “open mic”, at Rajun Cajun Seafood, Petersburg, VA.
Multiple organizations including the Museum of the American Military Family Museum, Military Kid Art Project, Trans Veteran Society of Virginia, TheatreLAB, and the Petersburg Pride Committee are coordinating the event, which will be held at DJ’s Rajun Cajun Seafood in Petersburg, a gay owned establishment and the hub of Petersburg Pride.
The first ever Pride! LGBTQ+ Military Family Social, created in conjunction with the two cities celebrating Pride this year, will have entertainment, food, drinks, music, skits, laughs, readings, and personal stories all in honor of the LGBTQ+ Military Family life. “Military Family” from all branches of the military, retired LGBTQ+ Military, current service members, spouses and all dependents, Brats, no matter the age and the allies that support them.
There will be an open-mic and all are encouraged to share LGBTQ+ military family related stories. The stories will be held to a 2-minute maximum of time and must be PG rated. Lora Beldon, founder of Military Kids Art Project and Artist-in-Residence of the Museum of the American Military Family says, “You don’t have to share a story to come and enjoy the evening. The Military Family Museum just released its anthology of LGBTQ+ Military Family in SHOUT! Sharing Our Truth. As a military Brat, I was honored to have contributed a story and artwork, as well as co-edited the anthology. The book will be available for purchase at the event and both Richmond and Petersburg Pride. The publication, along with an accompanying exhibit recently was honored by the American Association of State and Local History’s Albert B. Corey Prize.
Veteran Yessica Gonzalez-Hernandez, a Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Victim Advocate, and a Petersburg Pride committee member says, “This event is incredibly important! It will be an opportunity to promote inclusion and celebrate the service of LGBTQ+ Service Members and their families.”
To pre-sign up to share a story email Lora Beldon at LKBeldon@hotmail.com, or sign up the night of the event. Space is limited. First come first serve. Also visit the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1058871680928195/
The PRIDE! LGBTQ+ Military Family Social Event is open to the public Saturday, September 1, 7-9pm. Location, DJ’s Rajun Cajun Seafood Restaurant. 309 North Sycamore Street, Old Towne Petersburg, Virginia, 23803. http://www.djsrajuncajun.com
by Circe Olson Woessner
When I first read the e-mail, my heart skipped a beat.
“On behalf of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), I am delighted to inform you that the Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center was selected as the 2018 Albert B. Corey Award winner by the Leadership in History Awards committee. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards is the nation’s most prestigious competition for recognition of achievement in state and local history.”
In 2011, when we founded the museum, our small board had no idea what we were doing. We had an idea—and good intentions—and that was about it. We were not museum people; we were federal employees and retirees. We knew we wanted our museum to have meaningful, thoughtful programming, and that it would touch on all aspects of military life—the good, the bad, and everything in between. We wanted to portray an accurate picture into military family life, and to represent all types of military families.
I continued reading.
“The Albert B. Corey Award is named in honor of a founder and former president of AASLH and recognizes primarily volunteer-operated organizations that best display the qualities of vigor, scholarship, and imagination in their work. We congratulate you for the work that has brought this honor.”
Without a formal museum background, we had to be creative and intuitive. What would we military families like to tell? We collected stories for our anthologies, From the Front lines to the Home Front:New Mexicans Reflect on War, War Child: Lessons Learned from Growing Up in War,and Shout! Sharing Our Truths: Writings from LGBT Veterans and their Families, and hosted theatrical productions, we created exhibits such as Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family, Schooling With Uncle Sam, GI Jokesand Inside Out: Memories From Inside the Closet. With these exhibits, we discussed military family life, showcased the DoD schools’ history, explained military humor, and, though art, shared LGBT service members’ experiences. We built a memorial to military families up in Santa Fe. Our small volunteer force poured our heart and soul into our programming.
It was because we tell the military family story in creative ways, we were awarded the Corey Award.
We’ve used hot pads, ACU shirts and pants, aprons and paper as canvas to create a visual portrait of military family life. We’ve collaborated in theatrical productions and filmed a short documentary, Love Song for the Dead: Honoring the Sacrifice & Service of New Mexico’s Military Families. In late 2018-2019 we plan exhibits around Host Nation Hospitality, Addiction/Recovery, and a Korean War-era Christmas exhibit and picture book set in Cold War Japan. We are collaborating on a play with several theatrical groups in Richmond, VA, thanks to a generous grant from the Arcus Foundation.
Because people process information in different ways, every year we think of new ways to tell the military family story, and as things change, we try to keep up with history.
We could not have received the Corey award without all the people out there—to include Nucleus readers—who have offered suggestions, contributed a story or two, or who have answered a call to volunteer or to donate items. We depend on the generosity of strangers to donate a dollar to two to our coffers to fund a project and to help us pay the rent.
We are excited for the future—and want to thank you for your support—and your trust. We could not tell your story without your permission—and we are proud that so many people have trusted us with their memories.
If you haven’t visited us, yet—please do—we are open weekends from 12:30-5:00 and by appointment.
For Immediate Release
Circe Olson Woessner
Museum of the American Military Family
Museum of the American Military Family Wins 2018 AASLH Albert B. Corey Award
NASHVILLE, TN—June 2018—The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that the Tijeras-based Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center is the recipient of the Albert B. Corey Award for the program, INSIDE OUT: Memories from Inside the Closet. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 73rd year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.
The Albert B. Corey Award is named in honor of a founder and former president of AASLH and recognizes primarily volunteer-operated organizations that best display the qualities of vigor, scholarship, and imagination in their work. The Leadership in History Awards committee presents the Corey Award at their discretion. This special honor also includes a $500 award for the organization.
“Inside Out: Memories from Inside the Closet,” is an exhibit at the Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF) which debuted on September 17, 2017 with a music and spoken word program. The exhibit is a collection of personal stories and art painted on military uniform shirts by LGBTQ military veterans and facilitated by psychologist Dr. Kyle Erwin, of El Paso, TX. The exhibit coincided with the release of a MAMF anthology titled SHOUT! Sharing Our Truth: Writings by LGBT veterans and family members of the US Military Services. The book is co-edited by Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, MAMF Executive Director, and Richmond, VA, resident Lora Beldon, MAMF Artist in Residence, Founder of Military Kid Art Project and Co-Director of The BRAT Art Institute. In late 2018, MAMF will collaborate with Richmond’s TheatreLAB, also with help from Diversity Richmond, on a play, based in part, from the anthology, and will launch its follow-up exhibit, “Still Shouting!” in New Mexico.
This year, AASLH is proud to confer forty-four national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, and publications. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2018 AASLH Annual Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, on Friday, September 28. The banquet is supported by a generous contribution from the History Channel.
The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and
local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena. For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to www.aaslh.org.
The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society. AASLH publishes books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, a monthly newsletter, and maintains numerous affinity groups and committees serving a broad range of constituents across the historical community. The association also sponsors an annual meeting, regional and national training in-person workshops, and online training.
For membership form, click here