Thursday, January 12, 2017

Calling All Creative Veterans!

Hi blog readers! April Sullivan here to tell you about all the exciting work we have been doing with our creative veterans and what we have coming up.

Our awesome writing instructors Cecily Sailer and Stephanie Whallon taught more writing classes at the end of 2016. Cecily was at our VSA Texas classroom and Stephanie went out into the community and taught her class at the Austin VA Outpatient Clinic. In the final class, the writers visited the Blanton Museum of Art to get inspiration from the visual art. I heard from the VA staff that “on the way back to the VA the Veterans couldn’t stop talking about how much they have loved the writing class and the trip to the Blanton.” It was a great partnership and we look forward to more opportunities at our local VA.
A photo of Stephanie and the VA Writing Class students at the Blanton Museum of Art
We have another writing class starting January 22nd and a few spots left if you are a veteran interested in giving it a try! This six-week class will take you on a tour of genres and give writers of all levels (beginners too) practice in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Contact me if you are interested. Here is a poem by one of the writers:

Guardians of Liberty

Until the last cadence is finally called
I am a soldier undaunted that is all
Until every lost Brother and Sister come home
With every beat of my heart their souls live on
Standing ready for the call at dangers gate
rest assured for that moment we all wait
Sleep sound my country and without fear
For our sacrifice please never shed one tear
For this path we march, our gift to you
The danger and cost we already knew
With vigilance we ensure the path ahead is clear
For freedom we stand United Far and Near
Countless Brothers and Sisters stand just like me
Protecting Freedom with Blood, Guardians of Liberty

Kris Shoults 
United States Air Force 1988-1992

Are you wondering what our plans are for all of these creative writing pieces? Well, we have big plans! These works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction will be part of a large event this summer that will include visual artists and musicians as well as writers. We are currently looking for Texas veterans who are visual artists and also those who are songwriters or musicians to submit to our call for art and our call for songwriters. We are looking for artistic and musical veterans to create a work of art or write a song based on the writings. These writings, songs, and visual art pieces will come together in a publication, CD, and live event at the Art979 Gallery in Bryan, TX in June/July 2017.

If you are a veteran visual artist or musician interested in being a part of this event, please contact me about the call for art or the call for songs, or see the Veterans Page on our website.

And if you want some inspiration, come hear the Veteran Writers read their works at our Lion and Pirate Open Mic on Saturday, January 21st from 7-8:30 PM at Malvern Books.
Perry Jefferies, US Army Veteran, reading at our Open Mic

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