MAMF Introduces Its 2019 Writer-in-Residence & Projects

It’s shaping up to be another literary year for MAMF!

Our writer-in-residence emeritus Paul Zolbrod will be leading our monthly Book Club discussions and working on some local writing projects…

…our 2019 writer-in-residence ( drumroll please) Military Brat Lauren Mosher will be starting with MAMF in January. She’s going to put out a call for stories for this year’s anthology: My Hero Dog: Stories on How Our Dogs Have Helped Shaped Who We Are”

So…if you have an amazing dog and want to share a story, we would love to include it in the book!

MAMF Artist in residence Lora Beldon is working on our play in collaboration with several theatrical and veterans groups in Richmond, and we will be compiling stories for a companion anthology to SHOUT! It’s called Still SHOUTING!

Director Circe Olson Woessner will be working on a book about the troops and their families stationed along both sides of the East-West border in Cold War, Germany.

So…another busy year for the writers, artists and poets of MAMF.

Proceeds from all our book sales help the museum’s operating funds—so we can continue to bring programming and exhibits to the public!

Looking forward to hearing from you as we start 2019 with a clicking of keyboards!

Looking Back–2018

By Circe Olson Woessner, Director, MAMF

It has become an annual event to reflect on our past years’ accomplishments and goals achieved, and to marvel how much our small-but-mighty board gets done. So, here’s MAMF’s year in review.

In February, we had a Valentines making class. A couple of days later, we helped with a chili cook-off fundraiser at Indian motorcycle of Albuquerque. It was a great success and we made some new friends and raised some money for Run for the Wall (RFTW).

In the spring, we had a DODDS teacher/student get-together and completed our “Brathood” project. Last year, we’d  asked people on Facebook to give us quotes describing military brat “core values” and wrote them on the antique car hoods we  have in our backyard. We filled in the gaps with more quotes, and called the project done.

We learned that one of our videos on the museum website took first place in the New Mexico Press Women communications contest and received an honorable mention in the National Federation of Press Women’s contest.

May was busy as usual. We started the month with our War and Peace Fest, hosted events for RFTW riders at the museum and in the community. I was the New Mexico Midway Route Coordinator for RFTW, and was responsible for coordinating meals, route permitting, law-enforcement, stops and events as they crossed New Mexico over two days. Volunteers from all over the state went out of their way to feed, entertain, and host nearly 350 riders passing through on their ride from California to Washington, DC.

Also, in May, we underwent the Collections Assessment Preservation process, and a museum expert came out to look at our collections, assessed our facility, and made recommendations based on her findings. We learned a great deal and look forward to putting some of those suggestions into place in 2019.

In June, we were thrilled to learn that we had won the 2018 American Association of State and Local History’s Albert B. Corey prize, a huge honor for our relatively new and very small museum.

Over the summer, we filmed our 10-minute music-documentary Love Song for the Dead at both the museum and at the VA hospital in town.

In August, we had a booth at the Albuquerque VA Golden Age Games and thousands of veterans and their family members came from all over the country to participate in athletic events. It was a lot of fun and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

In September, I was asked to guest lecture in one of the museum studies graduate classes at the University of New Mexico and our museum began working with a team of MBA interns from the UNM Anderson School of Management.

For its 86thbirthday, I created a small exhibit telling of the Albuquerque VA’s history, now on permanent display in the cafeteria at the hospital.

In October, we once again hosted a professor from the University of San Francisco, who is working on a book about military spouses. We coordinated meetings with spouses and military family programs directors on Kirtland Air Force Base.

On October 13, as one of the stops on the VA’s inaugural suicide prevention ride from Albuquerque to Angel Fire, NM, we hosted the riders at the museum and had a one-day pop-up exhibit on addiction and recovery. We also previewed our Love Song for the Dead at the at the chapel at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire.

We hosted two naturalization ceremonies in 2018. We love to do them. It is so moving and wonderful to be with people as they become US citizens!

We displayed our exhibit Inside Out at Sandia National Labs on Coming Out Day, and also as part of the 10th anniversary of the Love Armor project at the Contemporary Center for the Arts in Santa Fe.

In late fall, I attended the New Mexico Association of Museums conference in Taos, where I learned a great deal about museums and place-making, and met a lot of great people with whom we’ll collaborate in the future…Speaking of collaboration, our museum was asked to contribute artifacts to Hometown Heroes,an exhibit of Medal of Honor recipients from the state of New Mexico, and a Vietnam War exhibit at the West Baton Rouge Museum in Louisiana.

We officially debuted Love Song for the Dead and introduced our Lines Across Time project the first weekend in November.

Veterans Day weekend contributors read passages from our anthologies at Bookworks, a local independent bookstore in Albuquerque.

So, what seemed to be a slow year, actually was really a year full of substantive events in our progress.

We couldn’t have done it without our board members, our volunteers, our supporters, and our donors…

We thank you all and wish all of you a wonderful 2019. (Big plans to be unveiled in early February!)

 

 

 

 

 

Premier for our film “Love Songs for the Dead” and the Debut of “Lines Across Time: A Memory Booth Project”

On November 3, we had a very moving and inspiring day–remembering and honoring our loved ones who’d passed on. About 30 people screened our film or participated in our memory booth project, which is a joint project between MAMF and UNM’s Arts-in-Medicine program. Mary Cockburn (R1 of NM) and Kelly Frey (Hometrust Mortgage) are both part of the Heroes Home Advantage real estate program.

 

 

PRIDE! LGBTQ+ Military Family Social

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

 804-704-8940

 

 

Our Museum is Recognized for its Creative Programming

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.

An actor performs with the museum’s “Brathood installation” in the background

Members of the MAMF Board stand in front of the Military Family Memorial in Santa Fe.

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.


Phil Pohl, Special Projects Manager, Director Circe Olson Woessner, and Allen Dale Olson Secretary/Public Affairs in front of the Museum in Tijeras

 

Museum of the American Military Family 
Wins 2018 AASLH Albert B. Corey Award

 

 

 

 

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Circe Olson Woessner
circe@militaryfamilymuseum.org
505-504-6830
Museum of the American Military Family

Bethany Hawkins
hawkins@aaslh.org
615-320-3203
AASLH

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.
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MAMF welcomes Artist-in-Residence; Brat Liaison

Artist-in-Residence Lora Beldon is an American artist, art educator, curator, and military brat, whose entire life’s work involves documenting the military child experience. She is the founder of Military Kid Art Project. She earned a BFA in Painting and Printmaking and Art Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.   Her art has been exhibited across the United States and Europe, with many pieces in private and corporate collections. Everywhere and Nowhere, is her recent conceptual series based on growing up within a war-deployed military household.  Beldon served as Assistant Director, and later, Director of 1708 Gallery, from 1989-1996, and remains an emeritus member of the gallery.  She is also on the board of Richmond’s Iridian Gallery, a new LGBTQ+ non-profit art space.  In 2011, Beldon teamed up with Donna Musil of Brats Without Borders, to co-curate the traveling art show “UNCLASSIFIED: The Military Kid Art Show” Subject of a documentary film: Lora and Tom Beldon – The father/daughter team are the subjects of Donna Musil’s new documentary “OUR OWN PRIVATE BATTLEFIELD. She coedited the Museum of the American Military Family’s 2017 anthology: Shout: Sharing Our Truth: Writings of LGBT veterans and family members of the US Military Services.

Brat Liaison Cliff Crawford is a second-generation military brat and a third-generation career Army Officer.  Born at Fort Rucker Alabama, Cliff lived in Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Kansas and Nebraska in the U.S.  but lived primarily in Germany as a child. He attended high school in Frankfurt and Augsburg, West Germany.  Upon graduation, Cliff attended the University of Maryland Munich campus. Upon completion of his studies in Munich, Cliff was accepted into the ROTC program at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville Alabama.  Commissioned as a Field Artillery Officer in 1986, Cliff spent the next 30 + years serving both as a regular Army Officer and a Reserve Officer.  Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks Cliff returned to the regular Army as a Logistics officer and served 3 combat tours in Iraq and 1 in Afghanistan. Cliff is currently retired in Albuquerque NM and devotes his time to golf, skiing, music and supporting veteran / military charity projects

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