MHC Announces Nine Veterans’ Voices Legacy Grantees

The Minnesota Humanities Center (MHC) is excited to announce that we have awarded nine Veterans’ Voices Legacy Grants to organizations who seek to celebrate/commemorate Veterans’ Day and/or Veterans’ Voices Month (October) by engaging communities with projects or programs to bridge the Veteran-civilian divide. These projects will utilize the humanities to encourage everyone in the community to take part in the conversation and ensure that the power of story and narrative can be heard throughout Minnesota. MHC awarded a total of $54,068 to the following organizations and their projects.

The 2018 Veterans’ Voices Legacy Grantees are:

Carleton College (Northfield) will host a workshop in Northfield that will bring together community members (including Veterans), students, and staff, with Veteran authors such as the playwright J.A. Moad, and innovative Veteran artist Ehren Tool. Moad, along with Veteran poets and prose writers, will share new works, while Tool will offer a ceramics workshop, in which participants join in his ongoing project to make cups that help people encounter the meaning and effects of war.

Dakota County Historical Society (South St. Paul) will host a series of events to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the World War I armistice. A book discussion group will start the series of events utilizing two books related to WWI history, culminating in a special viewing of the “Dakota County During World War I” exhibit during an Armistice Day event, with a presentation, live WWI-era music, and a special toasting ceremony at the South St. Paul VFW.

Every Third Saturday (Minneapolis) will launch a collaborative project, Warrior’s Ink, which will take active participation from several different entities. Every Third Saturday (ETS) has partnered with the Hennepin County Library in the planning and implementation of the project. ETS’s primary role will be to identify and invite Veterans to sit down and tell their stories.

Hero Now Theatre (Minneapolis) will invite Veterans, military personnel, and non-Veterans to reflect on the question, “When Veterans put their experience into something aesthetically powerful, how does that change our feelings about war?” After a performance of “Not About Heroes,” a play about two poets who fought in World War I, audiences can stay to discuss the relationship between traumatic experience and artistic expression.

Macalester College (St. Paul) will use the Ken Burns documentary series ”The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick” as a conversation starter to cultivate dialogue on the causes, consequences, and lingering aftermath of the U.S. wars in Southeast Asia over three evenings this coming October. Participants will include Southeast Asian refugees, Vietnam War Veterans, participants in the Vietnam-era antiwar movement, and Macalester undergraduate students.

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (Minneapolis) will collect stories from the female Veterans it serves — from their time in the military, to struggles in civilian life, to reclaiming their stability. As Minnesota communities work tirelessly to end Veteran homelessness, Veterans’ stories must be heard in their own words, to amplify their voices and to remind the community of Veterans who have become invisible.

Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance (Roseville) will launch the Veterans Unmasking Brain Injury Project to bridge the divide between Veterans and civilians through art that communicates their unique perspectives about life with brain injury. Together, the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance and Eagle’s Healing Nest will offer mask-making sessions, a mask display, a screening of the documentary “Unmasking,” and a panel discussion for Veterans and civilians at Eagle’s Healing Nest facilities in Sauk Centre and Anoka during October 2018.

Scott County Historical Society (Shakopee) will invite Vietnam Veterans to participate in six story-sharing events where Veterans have a chance to tell their stories and engage in conversation with local residents to help bridge the divide between military personnel/Veterans and civilians living in Scott County.

Winona County Historical Society (Winona) will host a community discussion with both Veterans and civilians about their memories and experiences related to the Winona Armory. Built in 1915, the Winona Armory is the Winona County Historical Society’s (WCHS) largest artifact and today also makes up part of the Winona County History Center. WCHS will use these memories and experiences in a film that will be a part of a permanent exhibit about the Armory and its relationship to both military members and civilians.

Blake Rondeau

Author: Blake Rondeau

Blake Rondeau is a Marine Corps Veteran who works at the Minnesota Humanities Center as the Veterans’ Voices Program Officer.

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