MAMF NEWSLETTER, March 2014

Sacrifice & ServiceIt may be just a coincidence, but we think it’s serendipity that the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History released the first press announcement about our summer-long exhibit on the very day we were setting up for our film presentation of “Brown Babies” at the South Broadway Cultural Center in Albuquerque. “Brown Babies: the Mischlingskinder” documentary is our Museum’s first big event done in partnership with other entities such as the City of Albuquerque, the Kirtland Federal Credit Union, Don Chalmers Ford, and the Residence Inn of Marriott, and our exhibit at the Nuclear Museum, opening on May 26, will be our second big event and by far the biggest in our short history. That both events received press attention on the same day shows that our stars are aligning.

“Brown Babies” tells the story of babies born in the early 1950s to German women and African-American soldiers. Produced by Regina Griffin, it has won numerous critical awards.

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The upcoming exhibit, “Sacrifice & Service: the American Military Family,” is expected to draw upwards of 50,000 visitors between May and September. It will also launch our first-ever membership campaign and be the capstone of our fund-raising drive to generate dollars to cover the costs of moving and rehabbing the seven 1940s military housing units generously donated to us for use as our permanent home by Robert Rivera Construction Company. We have been working with the City of Albuquerque concerning a site for the buildings, and the preliminary landscaping plan situates the buildings in a cluster to resemble a housing area on a military installation. The plan also includes a portable classroom to house the library of the Overseas American Schools Historical Society with whom we have been working this past year to bring their library, bricks, and pavers to Albuquerque. Also in the plan, is an adaptive playground.

“Brown Babies” filled the theater in the South Broadway Cultural Center and generated enough funds to cover the accommodations and honoraria for Peter Grammer and Dan Cardwell, who helped introduce the film and who answered audience questions afterward about the film and about their life-long experiences searching for an identity, their parents, a culture, a language, and a nationality. Both men had also appeared on a morning talk show on Albuquerque’s Channel 2 television station

“Sacrifice & Service,” which celebrates America’s rich military history through the voices of its military families, will open on Memorial Day, May 26, and continue through Labor Day, 2014.  An opening reception is scheduled for Friday evening, May 30, at which we expect guests from all levels of government, representatives of companies and corporations, members of Veterans organizations, and our friends and sponsors. Board Member Susie Crouch has been working with the Nuclear Museum marketing staff on this big opening party. Sponsorship for both the exhibit and the reception comes from Bernalillo County, Martin/Sandia National Laboratories, Raytheon, Elks Lodge #2500, the Marriott Residence Inn, as well as the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History

The houses have been on skids in suburban Albuquerque for ten years and are in need of considerable cosmetic work. A new member of our Advisory Board, Paul Silva, has agreed to be Project Manager for the buildings. Paul was, for years, a building inspector for Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories and has already begun the process of inquiring about permits, licenses, and other engineering costs. Our Board has also begun writing grants and talking up the need for funds to cover all the moving and repair costs.

The membership drive about to get underway offers an annual membership for $25, a life membership for $100 (if applied for from now through the end of “Sacrifice & Service”, September 2014). Readers can join on-line –through our website or by sending a check payable to MAMF, P.O. Box 5085, Albuquerque, NM  87185.

A gift shop may be in the works. Board Members Jayne Pilley and Wanda Umber, along with Circe and Ole, have been discussing the formation of a relationship with the creator of a Military “Brats” pin and other Military-Family-related jewelry and trading card items, as well as authors and publishers. Jayne and Wanda have drafted a business plan and developed a budget plan to address sustainability and  ong-term issues.

MAMF recently joined the Hispano Chamber of Commerce in Albuquerque and is actively in discussion with Bank of the West regarding full service banking. In January and February we continued meeting with our Congressional delegation, city and county officials, and state legislators. We search constantly for opportunities. IN February, MAMF also joined MAMF BRat Liaison Joe Condrill to Albuquerque and enjoyed an informal get-together with some Brats–Overseas Brats has just named the Museum of the American Military Family its Brat’s Cause for 2014! Thank you Joe!

MAMF  has several aprons in the Apron Project installation in Albuquerque through the month of March.

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Number One Priority: raise funds to move our buildings. You can help us by donating any amount through our website or by check.  We’d like to move our buildings to a permanent site by late summer 2014.

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