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Headwaters Council for the Performing Arts honors and supports veterans through art

Katie Thoresen

Throughout Eagle River you’ll find displays dedicated to local veterans.

Letters, photos, uniforms, memorabilia, and artwork created by veterans are on display at the library, courthouse, and the Warehouse Art Center.

Katie Thoresen
Part of the veterans display at the Vilas County Courthouse in Eagle River.

The Headwaters Council for the Performing Arts has been working with the Vilas County Veterans Service Office, the Eagle River Veterans Resource Center, the Northland Pines School District, the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library, and the Warehouse Community Arts Center to offer veterans and their family’s outlets for expression.

Brian Thomas is the Veterans Service Officer for Vilas County. He says when veterans return from service, they often lose that connection with one another and with people that can understand what they went through.

“They lose that connection. This was an outstanding opportunity through the arts, because some people don't like talking about things, but maybe they like expressing themselves in other ways so that they don't have to speak. Let their artwork speak for itself,” said Thomas. “That's what this was about. I mean, it kind of grew, and as we can see where the artwork is displayed, it's been amazing.”

The art classes and displays lead up to a performance of ‘Kiss Me Once: Stories from the Homefront’, Kathy Kaefer’s one woman show that features songs and stories and letters of wartimes experiences. It's all made possible by a grant from Wisconsin Humanities.

“I think we owe it to them [veterans] as a community to let them know that we appreciate their service, we as a community, want to take care of them, want to be a part of their lives. If there's anything that they need, we're here for them as a community,” said Thomas. “I think that was a way just to express that to people and we're here for them. The community support has been amazing.”

The Kiss Me Once performance is Sunday, March 24th at 4:00 p.m. at Northland Pines High School.You can find ticketing information here.

There are free tickets available for veterans. You can call the Veterans Service Office to get them at 715-479-3629. There are also tickets available to veterans for the Wisconsin Windigo game on Saturday night.

There’s also an open house for the military display at the Eagle River Historical Society from noon to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

The Eagle River Mayor proclaimed the weekend Veterans and Families’ Expression Weekend in honor of all the events happening.

Correction: The original article called the proclamation for Veterans and Families' Experience. It's been corrected to Veterans and Families' Expression.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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