In 2016 I launched MilspoFAN with the MilspoFAN blog and on Facebook with the MilspoFAN Page and MilspoFAN Worldwide group. My goal is to connect military spouses in the fine arts with each other and their communities, and to promote their work. Hopefully, our connections will help make it a little easier to maintain a career in the arts despite frequent relocation.
I’m so proud of what we have accomplished in less than a year and I’m really looking forward to 2017! It’s been a joy to reflect on our artist interviews and some of the initial dream statements from the early blog.
In case you missed it, here are 18 of my favorite highlights from the MilspoFAN blog in 2016. Click the links to for the full blog posts.
1)“I wished there was an easy way to connect with the lovely creative underbellies in the communities that I found myself landing in- a way to quickly find my artistic tribe without endless, searching cold calls and having to sell myself hard to people who already had amazing local circles and contacts locked down.” http://www.milspofan.com/2016/04/06/curtain-go
2) “I realized [that]… my wish for a ready-made network of artists is a wish I am perfectly capable of granting for myself and others. And tra-la, MilspoFAN was born!” http://www.milspofan.com/2016/04/06/curtain-go
3) “Tally-ho!” you cry with unflinching gusto- because you are a milspouse and THAT is how we roll: headlong into the unfamiliar.” http://www.milspofan.com/2016/04/25/50
4) “The only way there’s going to be a network of artistic types waiting to welcome you when you PCS to Guam in two years is if we get this baby growing!” http://www.milspofan.com/2016/04/25/50
5) “…we are a glorious and creative force, and we can make this network a reality.” http://www.milspofan.com/2016/04/25/50
6) “What is the network meant to achieve?… What will this network actually look like in the near future?… What dreams do I dare dream for the network in the future?…” [this one was a beautiful doozey, find out the answers by following this link…] http://www.milspofan.com/2016/04/25/50
7) ” … who is this “Jessica” character, anyway? And why did she call me a Squirrel?!” http://www.milspofan.com/2016/05/04/call-for-help
8) “Help!” http://www.milspofan.com/2016/05/04/call-for-help
9) “Let’s work together to build up the Military Spouse Fine Artists Network,so that we can meet each other more quickly and get to work (and play!).” http://www.milspofan.com/2016/05/04/call-for-help
10) “Here are some ideas of how you can contribute to the cause: Spread the word! Participate in theFacebook group. Comment on the blog posts! Write a guest post for the blog. Donate some images, illustrations, or other media. Volunteer to help me out this summer. Host a meetup! Write an email. Collaborate with another MilspoFAN member. Send me chocolates or words of encouragement!” http://www.milspofan.com/2016/05/04/call-for-help
11) “Yes, please, let me go ahead and sum up my entire being in a few paragraphs-sounds easy and fun and not at all intimidating and reductionistic*teenage eye roll*” http://www.milspofan.com/2016/05/25/a-bit-about-me
12) “The basics:My name is Jessica. I’m a freelance modern dancer choreographer and Board-Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (BC-DMT) who’s been on a multi-year journey trying to find a calling that is true to my values, needs, skills, and interests. MilspoFAN is the result of that voyage!” http://www.milspofan.com/2016/05/25/a-bit-about-me
13) “I had this post written mostly yesterday, but then I heard a kerfuffle which turned out to be my daughter giving her teddy bear a bath! One thing led to another and I got majorly derailed, ha!” http://www.milspofan.com/2016/09/08/our-first-work-of-art
14) “I had the wonderful opportunity to commission some artwork for the site from Carly Dilday, the daughter of a military family this summer. Carly has headed off to art school this fall to pursue her passion for illustration. She was gracious enough to create some lovely illustrations for MilspoFAN before she left.” http://www.milspofan.com/2016/09/08/our-first-work-of-art
15) “I love when people thank military spouses for their service, but in all honesty I feel very fortunate. Having a husband in the military means, for me, that I don’t have to work a traditional job, because we can support ourselves on his income, and we have family health insurance. Instead, I split my time between being a mom of two girls, and writing. My husband has also always been supportive of me; he is constantly telling me that my writing is not about commercial success but about creating art.” – Victoria Kelly http://www.milspofan.com/2016/09/29/an-interview-with-victoria-kelly
16) “I know the military and I feel like I have a lot to say about military life…especially the journey of the military spouse. It can often be a challenge to move frequently, survive deployments, long hours and deal with the uncertainty of what the future will bring. I decided to do a series of military spouses during different stages of their lives. Pregnancy, deployment, moves, and of course, the ultimate sacrifice, are all depicted in my Military Spouse Series.” – Maria Bennett Hock http://www.milspofan.com/2016/10/25/an-interview-with-maria-bennett-hock
17) “I love to sing musical theater music and I LOVE, LOVE to sing classical music/operas. I am classically trained and love to sing arias when I have the opportunity. But musical theater is a favorite. I love playing a character and getting to put emotion in what I’m singing because it’s not just a song, it is a story.” – Nicole Dufield http://www.milspofan.com/2016/11/22/an-interview-with-nicole-dufield
18) “I probably wouldn’t get the opportunity to be an artist if it weren’t for being a military spouse. I would most likely have a more traditional form of employment. It can be a good thing and a bad thing. I love that we move around a lot and I’m constantly meeting new art friends and getting to check out the art scene in a lot of different locations, it also gives me the opportunity to build my client base in a lot of locations.” –Carrie Waller http://www.milspofan.com/2016/12/27/an-interview-with-carrie-waller