By Allen Dale Olson, MAMF Secretary/Public Affairs
When the MAMF exhibit, “Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family,” closed on August 31, it had seen 17,116 visitors since opening on May 26 in the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. And that doesn’t include the members of the Albuquerque Museum Collaborative Council or all the elementary and middle school kids who attended summer science camps in the Nuclear Museum. There were 145 VIPs at the Opening Reception on May 30.
But the exhibit was more than an exhibit. There were book readings by Steve Sparks, R. Sam Baty, and J. Allen Whitt. Four Poets – Caroline LeBlanc, Circe Olson Woessner, Jacqueline Murray Loring, and Karen Bradberry entertained with touching and humorous excerpts from letters and messages about family life in the military. Read the rest of this entry »
Albuquerque Military Veterans and Family Members Perform their Stories of Service in Telling, Albuquerque
Location: South Broadway Cultural Center
Dates / Times: September 11, 13, 19, 20 – 7pm
September 14, 21 – 2pm
Free to the Public
In 2014, The Telling Project w ill produce 8 original performances: Denver, CO; Portland, OR; Baltimore, MD; Albuquerque, NM; San Antonio, TX; Austin, TX; College Station, TX; and New York, NY. More than 70 military veterans and military veterans will speak to audiences of tens of thousands around the country.
Albuquerque, NM, is the third host for The Telling Project’s 2014 season, and is co-produced by the Museum of the American Military Family, in collaboration with Working Group Theater, underwritten by the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
Cast members include individuals who served in the Navy, Army, and Air Force. Audiences will hear stories from Vietnam combatants and conscientious objectors, women who served a full career in the military, as well as reflections by family members of military personnel. From helicopters, to ships, to the jungle floor; from broadcasting live through rocket fire, to playfully clanking bombs together in warehouses; from intimate battles to come to terms with experiences a lifetime ago, to the transformations that follow; Telling, Albuquerque will speak to a diverse range of military and military family experiences. All performers are Albuquerque residents who, wanting their communities to understand who they are and what they have undertaken over the last half-century.
Timed to coincide with the anniversary of September 11th, Telling, Albuquerque is a an opportunity to engage the Albuquerque area in an intimate, complex, and richly various conversation concerning military experience, veterans, military families, and war in a moment when the nation is contemplating these matters.
No press opening will be held, although access to rehearsals, interviews with cast and crew, and background information on The Telling Project and Telling, Albuquerque can be arranged in advance of the performance by contacting:
Max Rayneard, The Telling Project
541 556 4368
“We hear about war on the news, but we don’t hear the personal side, up-close, from those who lived it. That’s about to change.” Kyle Taylor, Baltimore Sun.
“Go see this play.” Mike Rosenberg, Washington Post.
“The best performance of the season, hands down.” Ben Waterhouse, Willamette Week, Portland, OR, 2010.
The Museum of the American Military Family is planning its next exhibit “Schooling With Uncle Sam” and is collecting short quotes for its panels. Over the next few months we’ll post a general category and if you’d like to contribute to the exhibit, feel free to post a short, complete thought under the post, along with the school/ year you were there. Please add if you were a teacher, student or parent. Additionally, if you have digital photos or movie footage to contribute to this exhibit or a possible documentary, either e-mail them to us or mail them to:
PO Box 5085
Albuquerque, NM 87185
Please indicate that all submissions become part of the museum collection.
Here’s our first quote category:
First Day of School
Volunteer opportunities & in kind needs
- FOOD: Call/visit food places for donations to feed performers during rehearsal
- PRINTING: Call/visit printers for printing quotes/donations
- REHEARSAL GOFER: Pick up/delivery food & materials during rehearsals (September 6-10)
- USHERING & OTHER SHOW TIME DUTIES
- SOLICIT SPONSORS: Call/visit merchants you frequent to see if they’d like to sponsor Telling Albuquerque (See separate sponsorship flyer)
- ADVERTISING: Email/Distribute flyers to high school counselors/ROTC, Community Centers, Libraries, Senior housing complexes, etc.
WHO & WHAT: TELLING, ALBUQUERQUE is a stage production by veterans &
family members performing their own story.
WHERE & WHEN: South Broadway Cultural Center,
September 11, 13, 19, 20 at 7 PM
September 14, 21 at 2 PM
ALL PERFORMANCES ARE FREE TO THE PUBLIC
If you would like more information, contact Caroline LeBlanc, Producer at email@example.com
By Iain McLellan
There is a museum celebrating military family history in Albuquerque New Mexico. It was founded by Army wife and mother and overseas “brat” Dr. Circe Olson Woessner and her father, DODDS administrator, Dr. Allen Dale Olson.
When asked about how the museum came about, Woessner recalls,
“One night I was watching TV while my son was deployed to Iraq and I thought about all the military families around the world who at that very moment had children or parents serving in harm’s way. All military families, from all generations, who have ever had a loved one deploy, have felt that curious blend of pride, of worry, of hope—and have had to draw on an inner strength to keep it all together outwardly, despite inner turmoil. That is something universal to military families throughout history.”
Upon this realization, Woessner put in some online queries about military families and came to the conclusion that she needed to create a museum entirely dedicated to the American Military Family.
“What we want to do in Albuquerque is to have a permanent, physical place where children, spouses, parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, partners of service members– from all generations, all branches–can visit and experience a museum entirely dedicated to their stories and their history.”
To Woessner, it is important for people to recognize these elements of service and appreciate the unique military family cultures and subcultures.
“We want to create a learning community where people can come and see history through a different filter, relive their own military roots, open dialogue between the generations and leave with a deeper appreciation of what it means to serve as a military family and to be a child moving from school to school, country to country as a ‘military brat.’”
Woessner believes that the lifestyles of the current generation of brats are very different from the ones she and older generations of brats knew.
“Although most of my brat peers are in their late 40s to late 60s and our experiences as brats are vastly different from the experiences of military kids today, we still have much in common –this is apparent when we meet—even as strangers—because we can instantly relate. It’s like that old saying: the more things change, the more things stay the same.”
In collaboration with the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, a Smithsonian affiliate, the Museum of the American Military Family created the exhibit, Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family. On its opening day, 300 visitors viewed the exhibit. In the months of June and July, approximately 15,000 visited the museum. After the exhibit closes at the end of August, the exhibit will travel to the Lea County Museum in Lovington, and to Los Alamos.
Although the Museum of the American Military Family is currently an online museum, the organization has been gifted seven historic military housing units from the early 1940ss and is in the process of fundraising to rehab them and set them in a permanent location in Albuquerque.
“With the help of grants and donations, we hope to have our groundbreaking in late 2014”, Woessner says. ‘We are really excited, so stay tuned! It is taking a village to raise this museum, and we are blessed to have so much support.”
Anyone interested in supporting this initiative should make contact with Dr. Woessner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at P.O. Box 5085, Albuquerque,
NM 87185. She can be reached by phone at (505) 504-6830.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FROM: THE LEA COUNTY MUSEUM
DATE: JULY 26, 2014
LCM TO FEATURE US MILITARY FAMILY EXHIBIT
The Lea County Museum in Lovington will present a very unique exhibit that celebrates America’s rich military history through the voices of its military families past and present.
Titled “Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family” and now in its debut showing at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque, the exhibit will be on display at the Lea County Museum in Lovington for two months, October and November of this year.
NMNSH director Jim Walther says, “The strength, courage and commitment portrayed by all American military families is fascinating and inspirational. We are honored to host an exhibit that will resonate with many and is sure to paint a vivid picture of the stresses and excitement associated with having a service person in one’s family.”
The exhibit will remain at the NMNSH through August.
“Sacrifice & Service” includes military memorabilia, hundreds of photographs, and scenes from the home life that service men and women leave behind when their duty takes them to other parts of America and to destinations all over the world.
Themes in “Sacrifice & Service” include the temporary nature of military life, the losses and grief families experience, and the importance of continued communication with those staying home.Through written word and interactive activities, visitors to the exhibit experience the joy, the sorrow and the sacrifice of America’s steadfast and unsung heroes, the military family. The exhibit also shows the pride families have in supporting a loved one who is serving the nation.
“Sacrifice and Service” is the product of the creators of a new museum, Museum of the American Military Family and Learning Center, individuals who are currently in the process of acquiring the land and buildings that will make up the museum. With the help of many other volunteers, they are Executive Director Dr. Circe Olson Woessner and her father Dr. Allen Dale Olson. Woessner is an Army wife of twenty years; her her son is currently on active duty. Olson is a world War II-era veteran who has also worked for the US Defense Department.
“Sacrifice & Service” will be on exhibit in conjunction with the opening of the LCM’s new Lea County Military and Veterans exhibit which will open in September.
For more information about the LCM, call the museum at 575-396-4805.
More information about the Museum of the American Military Family can be found at “www.museumoftheamericanmilitaryfamily.org”.
More information at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History can be found at “www.nuclearmuseum.org”.