Veterans of the Armed Forces will share their stories with the community during a free presentation by Women Veterans Empowered & Thriving March 31, 2 p.m., in the Crayola Gallery at the Banana Factory Arts Center, 25 W. Third St., Bethlehem.
Be a witness to the veteran experience and have a conversation with those who have served our nation. The veterans will be performing their personal stories – empowering their voices – and the community can show its support by listening to them and watching the performance. Veterans today struggle with challenges they and their families face when returning home to civilian life.
Jenny Pacanowski, founder and director of Women Veterans Empowered & Thriving, created her nonprofit after hosting writing workshops where she discovered the veteran suicide rate was 18 veterans per day, a number which has since grown to 22.
“I wanted to do something to try to stop veterans from killing themselves, and what had worked for me was writing and being around other veterans,” says Pacanowski, who had served in the Middle East. “I wanted the reintegration for my fellow comrades to be easier than mine.”
The empowerment performances started as performance salons in New York City. The bigger the community and the more civilians who became interested, the more inspired Pacanowski became. The Greeks, Romans and Native Americans had rituals to facilitate the reintegration between military service and civilian culture, so Pacanowski brought that concept to the veterans of the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas.
Following the event, attendees are invited to stay for a meet and greet and refreshments to continue the conversation. For more information, contact Jenny Pacanowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information provided to TVL by:
Mark Demko, ArtsQuest