July 10, 2021 | 1pm
As part of the Summer With The Arts, the Military Women’s Memorial is excited to present More Than One Story: a collaborative performance by military women.
The Military Women’s Memorial, in partnership with Community Building Art Works, will unveil a joint performance by military women entitled “More Than One Story”. This unique collaboration between nine military women from across the United States weaves their stories into a powerful, unified performance. This work is dedicated to the women who served before them, who continue to serve, and the women who will walk the trail they blazed.
In addition to the unveiling of this performative art piece, the participants will engage in an interactive storytelling workshop This program aims to inspire understanding, dialog, and connection with the collective experience of women in the military.
Join us in person!
Reserve your ticket to join us in-person here. The unveiling and discussion will be followed by a light reception generously sponsored by Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Rosalynn Carter Institute and Modern Military Association of America.
Jennifer Anthony, USAF, 1998-2018
Jen served 20 years in the US Air Force achieving the highest enlisted rank of E-9, Chief Master Sergeant. Only one percent of the service reach the rank of “Chief” and she did so at a time when the total population of women service members was less than 18%. She served all over the world to include places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Italy, and Turkey. While in service, she specialized in offensive and defensive cyberspace operations, human relations, and developed a strong background in leadership and the professional development of those who were trusted to her care. Jen comes from a family with a long line of military service and her son is currently serving as an Active Duty Air Force Loadmaster.
Post military, Jen joined the corporate workforce as a healthcare executive for two years and then returned to the work she had a real passion for – serving military veterans and their families.
Jen believes people are the key to power world change and her leadership philosophy is simple: work hard, be kind, and make time to share great coffee with other humans.
Jennifer L. Dane, United States Air Force, 2010-2016
Jennifer Dane was born and raised in West Texas. She never thought that she would actually leave her windblown and dusty, tumbleweed town, but in 2010, she joined the United States Air Force and served as an intelligence analyst focused on geopolitical relations, terrorism, and threat vulnerability issues.
During her service, she was investigated under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – a policy which barred lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals from serving openly in the military – because she reported a sexual assault that was perpetrated against her. This cornerstone trauma spurred her passion for public policy and social change.
Her path to where she is today was anything but linear. After her honorable service, she worked in higher education combating sexual violence, she advocated for inclusive, data driven policies and assessments at the Ohio Department of Education, and she was a passionate kindergarten teacher for the Kinder Dogs and Kinder Dragons.
Today, Jennifer serves as the Executive Director of the Modern Military Association of America – the nation’s largest non-profit organization working to advance fairness and equality for the LGBTQ military and veteran community.
Jennifer is an avid collector of political artifacts, good people, and random facts that are only necessary for trivia games and her own fulfillment. She is passionate about her commitment to leaving the world a better place than it was before she was born.
Her life goal is to be a U.S. Senator.
Belena Stuart Marquez, United States Air Force, 2008-2021
Maj (Ret) Belena Stuart Marquez commissioned into the United States Air Force in 2008 from the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership at Mary Baldwin College. She served as a Public Affairs officer until her retirement in 2021. Her notable assignments include deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, serving as the Media Operations Officer for Air Force Special Operations Command, and work for the Secretary of the Air Force’s Public Affairs Plans and Strategies Division. Notable decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and she is currently petitioning for the award of the Purple Heart Medal due to injuries she received in combat.
Marquez now spends her time healing, writing and supporting her local community through acts of service.
VR Small, United States Navy, 1980-1996
VR Small is the founder and chief executive officer for the Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center (VWEC), a national initiative launched in southern Dallas to empower entrepreneur women associated with the military scale for success.
VR testified for the original House Bill to make June 12 Women Veterans Day in Texas. In 2020, she led the first annual statewide Women Veterans Day Pitch Competition, highlighting the innovations and economic impact of current/potential women veteran entrepreneurs. VR also participated in the Texas “I Am Not Invisible” Campaign.
VR serves on the Advisory Committee for TWU’s Center for Women Entrepreneurs and is a fellow of SMU’s Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity—Inclusive Economy, Dallas Public Voices, the Bush Institute Stand-to-Veteran Leadership Program, and is featured in Dallas Innovates 2020: The Future 50 North Texans. VR is the SBA’s DFW District 2020 Veteran Small Business Advocate of the Year, serves on the 30th Congressional District Veteran Advisory Committee, and is a Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), Center for Women Veterans (CWV), 2021 Trailblazer “Women Veterans Leading the Way.”
Most importantly, VR is a Navy Veteran, proud stepdaughter and sister to U.S. Army Retired Vietnam & Iraq Veterans, respectively. Living her personal slogan “Changing the way we see the world and do business,” VR is a motivational speaker, moderator, educator, and dedicated advocate, specifically for women veterans, as well as women, and small businesses in general—committed to driving social, and economic change across our nation.
Julianne "Jules" Sohn, United States Marine Corps, 1998-2008
Julianne “Jules” Sohn currently serves as the Officer In Charge of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Harbor Community Relations Office.
Jules has over a decade of law enforcement experience at both the LAPD and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). She served as the lead public information officer for FBI San Francisco, which covered the 15 counties in the Northern District of California and supervised the media relations program from 2010 to 2013. During her time with the FBI she executed and supervised the strategic media plans for numerous joint, multi-agency law enforcement operations to include cyber, gang/RICO, white-collar, counterterrorism, and economic espionage cases.
Jules served as a spokeswoman of a non-profit organization, which was at the forefront of advocacy work for servicewomen and women veterans, and was a sought-after speaker on the impact of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, which at one time banned LGBTQ people from serving openly in the military.
She was the 2019 recipient of Anti-Defamation League’s Helene and Joseph Sherwood Prize for Combatting Hate for her work collaborating with the LGBTQ communities in Los Angeles to build trust and increase reporting of hate crimes through community-based programs and grassroots organizing. She is also a law enforcement instructor for the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service “Engaging and Building Relationships with Transgender Communities.”
Jules is a former U.S. Marine officer and Iraq War veteran, who was discharged due to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and holds a M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University.
Alleria Aurora Stanley, United States Army, 2003-Present
Alleria enlisted into the Army at 29 years old. She has proudly served and defended her country, serving in Afghanistan and Germany and many locations in the US. She has served both in Combat Aviation and the medical field. Proud mother of two, and stepmother to three, she has represented women and transwomen throughout.
Aissatou E Sunjata, United States Army, 1979-1982
Aissatou E Sunjata feels strongly that she is still serving in the United States Army and her country. The oath does not expire because one is no longer actively serving. Her connection continues to be that of a female Veteran, and a military widow. She is also a writer, poet, and a retired Librarian both Public and School (K-12). Most of all she continues to be a survivor still blazing a mighty trail. She said she is now learning to thrive!
Lourdes Tiglao, United State Air Force, 1996-2007
Lourdes is a connector, specializing in building relationships across nations, NGO’s, and various industry sectors. She’s currently a Partnership Manager working at Airbnb.org. Her background cuts across sectors in the military, federal, and NGO’s. Her experience spans 18+ years of experience in leadership roles as supervisor, educator, and project manager in the US Air Force and the nonprofit environment across business, communications, and healthcare.
During her tenure in the USAF, she utilized her medical expertise to help save lives during her extensive critical care air & ground transport experience globally on the CCATT team. Bilingual in English and Tagalog, she bridged communications overseas, having more than 5 years of experience working with foreign governments and medical services establishing clinic services & international medical relations.
After her honorable discharge, Lourdes developed her disaster skills with Team Rubicon, a non-profit disaster response organization, deploying with the organization during Hurricane Sandy in New York and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. She later became Team Rubicon Global’s Strategic Partnerships Officer, connecting the network with government and organizations around the world. A staunch veteran advocate, she previously served on the federal advisory board for the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Her advocacy led her to speak on topics ranging from non-profits, medicine, veteran reintegration, humanitarian response, and volunteer mobilization globally, including the Philippine Embassy, NY and San Francisco Philippine consulates, the State Department, as a guest speaker by international television networks, universities, and scientific conferences.
Sharon R. Williams, United States Army, 1981-2019
SGM (R) Sharon R. Williams enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1981. She attended Basic Training at FT. Jackson, SC and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at FT. Benjamin Harrison IN. She graduated from her AIT training as one of the deemed “Lucky Six”. Her Computer Programmer class started with 32 students. After months of training only six students graduated. She was one of those six students. Sharon’s military career spanned over several decades. There were triumphs, tragedies, accomplishments, weddings, funerals and Soldier suicides. Still, she led, trained, mentored and provided leadership to thousands of Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Seamen, NCOs, Officers, General Officers and Civilians. Sharon’s OCONUS assignments include Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. She is proud to have been awarded the Legion of Merit Award, Bronze Star Award, Meritorious Service Medal(s) Award, and NATO Medal. Sharon ends, like she began, by saying may God bless every Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airman, Coast Guardsman who serves this nation and their leaders who lead them.
About the Facilitator
Seema Reza is a writer and performer and the author of When the World Breaks Open (Red Hen Press) and A Constellation of Half-Lives, (Write Bloody Publishing). Based outside of Washington DC she is the CEO of Community Building Art Works, an organization that encourages the use of the arts as a tool for narration, self-care and socialization among a military population struggling with emotional and physical injuries. In 2015 she was awarded the Col John Gioia Patriot Award by USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore for her work with service members. In 2018, the HBO Documentary “We Are Not Done Yet” featured the work of Community Building Art Works. She has taught poetry in classrooms, jails, hospitals, and universities. An alumnus of Goddard College and VONA, her writing has appeared on-line and in print in McSweeney’s, The Washington Post, The LA Review, The Feminist Wire, HerKind, The Offing, and Entropy among others, and has authored case studies which have appeared in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Related Diseases in Combat Veterans. She has performed at universities, festivals, correctional facilities and theaters across the country.
About the Program
Through online and in-person workshops led by professional artists, Community Building Art Works builds connected communities where veterans and civilians share creative expression, mutual understanding and support. Our art and poetry workshops have reached tens of thousands of service members, veterans, military family members, caregivers, and healthcare workers. CBAW encourages the use of arts as a tool for narration, self-care and socialization for those struggling with emotional and physical injuries caused by trauma.
Visit the Art Show
The Military Women’s Memorial is the leading memorial and education center honoring women’s contributions to the service of our nation.
In partnership with UnitingUs, the Summer With The Arts exhibition was created with the intention of bringing together communities and families when our Country needs healing and unity most. Plan a visit to the historic Arlington National Cemetery and cap off your trip with a memorable and educational experience at the Military Women’s Memorial. Our family-friendly events are perfect for children of all ages and stages and offer various enrichment opportunities from visual arts to crafting projects!
About the curator
This exhibition is curated by renowned artist and scholar, Annette Polan, Professor Emeritus from the Corcoran College of Art and Design at George Washington University. Polan created the Faces of the Fallen exhibition, previously on display at the Military Women’s Memorial and the Pentagon, which featured portraits of servicemen and women who died while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. She is a participant in the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassy Program.
“The range of artworks created by Uniting US Artists for the Summer with the arts exhibition is breathtaking”
– AnnMarie Halterman, UnitingUS Executive Director
Featured Programs & Events
Healing Arts Celebration
June 26th, 2021 | 11am-4pm
Join the Military Women’s Memorial and Uniting US in celebrating the healing and uniting power of the arts! A day filled with dynamic veteran artist talks, interactive live art demonstrations with veteran artists, with relaxing tours through the Uniting US art exhibition with 180 artworks from 110 veteran and their family member artists are scheduled throughout the day.
Don’t miss the feature presentation of the day at 1pm with the Uniting US interactive panel discussion Celebrating the Spectrum of the Healing Arts. As part of the Uniting US Summer with the Arts exhibition, our panel includes distinguished experts spanning perspectives from arts used in medical treatment programs, Arts in Health programs, to professional artists, community arts initiatives, and individual therapeutic art practices. Our talented panel members include:
- Annette Polan, community arts leader and curator of Summer With The Arts
- CAPT Moira G. McGuire, Nurse Officer and Division Chief, Integrative Health & Wellness and Chief of the Arts in Health Program at Walter Reed
- Sarah Moore, Dance/Movement Therapist and Community Arts in Health Specialist
- Edith Disler, a Uniting US participant and Air Force veteran artist
- Lewis Howard, Uniting US participant and Army veteran artist
- and the panel facilitator, AnnMarie Halterman, Uniting US Executive Director and Air Force veteran
For full schedule details, click here.
More Than One Story: a collaborative performance by military women
July 10th, 2021 | 1pm
The Military Women’s Memorial, in partnership with Community Building Art Works, will unveil a unique storytelling collaborative performance by military women. In addition, participants will share their experience going through the interactive workshop to create an space for them to share their experiences. This performance aims to inspire understanding, dialog and connection with participants, audience members and community leaders.
Over two days in May 2021, 9 military women from across the United States of America gathered virtually to weave their stories into a collaborative performance. This work is addressed to the women they came from, the women they were, the women they are becoming, and the women who will walk the trail they blazed.
Register to watch the livestream here!
Celebrating Performing Arts
July 24, 2021 | 11am-4pm
The Military Women’s Memorial Summer with the Arts continues to celebrate the healing and uniting power of the arts. UnitingUS artist talks, art demonstrations, and exhibition tours highlighting the 180 artworks from 110 veteran and their family member artists are scheduled throughout the day. At 3pm, enjoy the phenomenally entertaining, live Variety Show performance hosted by the Armed Services Arts Partnership.
Celebrating Family Wellness and Honoring and Uniting Women Veterans
August 28th, 2021 | 11am-4pm
One last Summer with the Arts hurrah family celebration filled with activities designed to engage kids including arts and crafts, UnitingUS veteran author book readings, and live UnitingUS artist discussions and participatory art demonstrations.
The Summer with the Arts Exhibition ends with a very special Honoring and Uniting Women Veterans ceremony with family, friends, and special guests in attendance. Join the Army’s All Women Band veteran professional musicians as military families and guests celebrate the healing and community building power of the arts, honor service of past and current veterans, and recognize our military family members and future leaders. The 3pm celebration ceremony is hosted by Quilts of Honor and Uniting US.
View the Full Event Calendar
Thank you to our partners
The Summer With The Arts has been coordinated in partnership with these impactful organizations.
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