National Endowment for the Arts Hosts Operation Homecoming Writing Workshops at Naval Station Pearl Harbor and Marine Corps Base Hawai'i Kaneohe Bay on April 21-22
In conjunction with Military Appreciation Month, author/veteran Richard Currey and actor/playwright Stephen Lang lead NEA writing workshops for military and their families
April 5, 2005
Washington, D.C. - The National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps, will host writing workshops and discussions for military personnel and their families at Naval Station Pearl Harbor and Marine Corps Base Hawai'i (MCBH) Kaneohe Bay on Oahu, Hawai'i, on April 21 and 22. The workshops are part of the NEA's Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, 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.
The writing workshops will be conducted by nationally acclaimed writer Richard Currey and award-winning actor and playwright Stephen Lang. Drafted in 1968, Richard Currey enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was detached to the Marine Corps, trained as a combat medic, and assigned to various infantry and reconnaissance units. His first novel, Fatal Light, portrayed a West Virginia man's experience in the "soul-searing terrain of the Vietnam War." Fatal Light was an international bestseller and received the Special Citation of the Hemingway Foundation as well as the Vietnam Veterans of America's Excellence in the Arts Award. Currey's second novel, Lost Highway, looks at the impact of the Vietnam War on an American family and was called "a rich, incisive American fable" by the Boston Globe. A former military book reviewer for Newsday, he is contributing editor for The Veteran. Currey has received NEA Fellowships in poetry and fiction.
Actor and playwright Stephen Lang has earned critical and popular acclaim for his work in film, TV and on the stage for more than 30 years. Lang played General George Pickett in the feature film Gettysburg and Stonewall Jackson in Gods and Generals. His television credits include the classic Crime Story and the NBC teleplay Babe Ruth. An award-winning stage actor, Lang's Broadway credits include Colonel Jessep in A Few Good Men and Happy in Death of a Salesman. In February 2004, Lang starred in the world premiere of a one-man show titled Beyond Glory. Lang adapted the work from Larry Smith's book, Beyond Glory: Medal of Honor Heroes in Their Own Words, a first-person oral history of 24 enlisted men and officers who faced intense combat from World War II through the Vietnam War.
"For the men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, these workshops will be an invaluable opportunity," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "Guided by talented writers, they will have the opportunity to reflect, learn, and write about their 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.
Naval Station Pearl Harbor and MCBH Kaneohe Bay host workshops
The workshops will reach troops from both Naval Station Pearl Harbor and MCBH Kaneohe Bay, both in Oahu, Hawai'i. On Thursday, April 21 from 9-11 a.m., Stephen Lang and Richard Currey will lead a workshop at The Banyans, Naval Station Pearl Harbor. The second workshop features Richard Currey and takes place Friday, April 22, from 9-11 a.m. at MCBH Kaneohe Bay at the Staff NCO Club Fairways Ballroom. To culminate the program, Lang will perform Beyond Glory on Friday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hawaii Theatre located at 1130 Bethel Street, Honolulu. Please note this performance is not recommended for children under 13. Out of consideration for the general audience, the Hawaii Theatre discourages bringing children under three years of age.
The writing workshops are free and open to active duty and retired military personnel, reservists, members of the National Guard, as well as their immediate adult family. To register for the Naval Station Pearl Harbor workshop, call 808-473-2924 by April 18. To register for the MCBH Kaneohe Bay workshop, call 808-254-7641 by April 18.
The Beyond Glory performance at the Hawaii Theatre is free, however tickets must be reserved at local military ticket outlets or by calling 808-473-1190. Media that wish to attend the workshops or Beyond Glory performance must RSVP by Wednesday, April 20 to NEA Communications Specialist Sally Gifford at 202-682-5606.
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 May 31, 2005. To learn more about Operation Homecoming, visit www.operationhomecoming.org or www.arts.gov.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency