National Endowment for the Arts Hosts Operation Homecoming Writing Workshops at Offutt Air Force Base Nov. 22-23
Beyond Glory author Larry Smith and actor/playwright Stephen Lang to lead writing workshops for military and their families
November 9, 2004
Washington, D.C. -- The National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the United States Air Force, will host writing workshops and discussions for military personnel and their families at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska on November 22 and 23. The workshops are part of the NEA’s Operation Homecoming, a unique program that documents and preserves the wartime experiences of men and women in uniform and their families. Since April 2004, Operation Homecoming has brought writing workshops with distinguished authors to military bases nationwide and abroad.
Putting soldiers’ stories on the page and onstage
The Offutt writing workshops will be conducted by two nationally acclaimed writers: Larry Smith and Stephen Lang. Larry Smith is a veteran newspaper and magazine editor with The New York Times and Parade Magazine, where he was managing editor for 19 years. In addition, he is the former president of the Overseas Press Club of America. In his recent book, Beyond Glory: Medal of Honor Heroes in Their Own Words, Smith interviewed 24 Medal of Honor winners, providing a first-person oral history of enlisted men and officers who have faced intense combat, from World War II through the Vietnam War.
"We are excited to bring together author Larry Smith whose work directly inspired playwright Stephen Lang to portray these riveting, true stories," noted NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "Lang’s performances are astonishing. This program will give Air Force personnel an extraordinary opportunity to gain perspective on their wartime experiences."
Operation Homecoming is presented in coordination with the Department of Defense and the Southern Arts Federation. Operation Homecoming is made possible by The Boeing Company.
Larry Smith’s workshop will take place Monday, November 22 from 2-4 p.m. Stephen Lang’s workshop will be held Tuesday, November 23 from 9-11 a.m.; both workshops are located at the Offutt Base Library. An opening reception featuring both authors and special guests will be held 4:30 p.m. on Monday at the Offutt Club. Personnel and guests who would like to attend the workshops and opening reception may visit http://www.offutt.af.mil/55svs/ for a copy of the registration form. Media that wish to attend must RSVP by Friday, November 19 by contacting Offutt Public Affairs at 402-294-7863.
Military personnel who want to learn more about wartime literature can obtain the Operation Homecoming audio CD. The CD features recordings of war letters, poems, fiction and memoirs from the Civil War to the Vietnam War. Copies of the Operation Homecoming CD can be ordered free of charge through the NEA Publications section at www.arts.gov. Audio clips are also available at www.operationhomecoming.org.
Call for submissions
In addition to workshops and educational resources, the NEA has issued an open call for submissions from military personnel, reservists, National Guard members, and Coalition Authority members who served after September 11, 2001, as well as their immediate families. Items may include essays, letters, and other writings related to recent military service. All submissions will be preserved in an appropriate federal archive, and an Operation Homecoming anthology will feature the best writings submitted to the program. The anthology will be distributed free of charge to military installations, schools, and libraries. Submissions will be accepted through March 31, 2005. To learn more about Operation Homecoming submission guidelines, visit www.operationhomecoming.org.
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