The Museum of American Military Family



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2019 Grant:
The Museum of American Military Family

The Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center through a very generous grant from the GriffinHarte Foundation will use the grant to create a curriculum and discussion guide for its play, SHOUT!, which is based on the museum’s anthology, SHOUT! Sharing Our Truth–An Anthology of Writings by LGBT Veterans and Family Members of the U.S. Military Services. Based on feedback from audiences who have seen the play, a facilitator and a curriculum guide would further enhance the theater experience. In order to help audiences gain a deeper understanding of military culture, military family life, and LGBTQ+ military history, the museum will provide this resource to theater directors or college theater groups, and will include some well-researched talking points to engage audiences.

Too often, nice people who have different views end up shutting down or yelling when a complex conversation takes a turn toward incivility. People who feel that they are more “enlightened” may completely turn off others, because they feel compelled to drive their point of view home. This could easily happen within an audience watching SHOUT! because the two topics most covered—-the military and the LGBTQ+ communities—-stir up strong emotions in many people. As such, audience members watching SHOUT! may react strongly during, or after the play. Our hope is that people who have never thought about LGBTQ+ service members will begin to do so and those who have thought about these service members will learn more about their experiences. We also hope civilians will learn more about military culture in general, and will participate in a thoughtful, civil, and carefully facilitated conversation after the performance.

The grant from the GriffinHarte Foundation will allow the museum to pay a graduate student to research and draft a curriculum guide/discussion questions based on the play and existing historical documents and display panels. That student would work with a university faculty member to ensure the guide meets academic standards and is accurate. The project will begin in April 2020 and be completed by December 2020.