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!)