We have a lot going on!!! We have adjusted our timeline and modified the dates of our Portrait Unveiling, Book Launch and Exhibition schedule. Just recently, the Proudly She Served Executive Director (and artist) Steve Alpert and I (Linda Maloney, Project Director) traveled to Washington, DC for a series of meetings in early October. We first met with the Deputy Director of the Center for Women Veterans (CWV), Liz Estabrooks and hope we can align with this amazing team in the future to highlight the Proudly She Served portraits. We had the amazing honor to have dinner with Ann Berry, the Secretary of the Senate. Ann is the first African American to serve in this position and the eighth woman to hold the office. I’ve heard they call her the General and I can see why. She has a commanding and dignified yet humble presence and I was honored to meet and talk with her. We did a lot of eating during this trip along with some amazing meetings. During our final day in Washington, we met for lunch with the first woman who Steve painted for the Proudly She Served project, former Army Officer, Dawn Halfaker. Dawn is simply impressive! She is a West Point graduate and after her Army service she built up her own business with over 600 employees. In 2020 she was listed as among Washington’s Top 10 Health Executives to Watch and just recently sold her thriving business to SAIC.
Portrait Unveiling & Book Launch – Gala Event & Exhibitions
The Portrait Unveiling & Book Launch will recognize the women highlighted at a gala event and in a series of exhibits at a select number of venues in mid to late 2022, all in the Washington DC area. Initially, there will be an opening gala event with the women depicted in the portraits attending. The dates of the gala and exhibits are in the process of being determined. For the gala, we’ve invited well-known and friend to the Proudly She Served project, Southwest Airline Captain, Tammie Shults,former Navy pilot who safely landed the Southwest flight from New York when an engine exploded, to be the keynote speaker. It is expected that a couple of the large sponsors will offer remarks and if available, Senator Tammy Duckworth, one of the portrait participants, will speak. We will also invite the leadership team at the Center for Women Veterans (CWV) to speak as well.
Traveling Exhibition Tour
Phase 2 of the project will involve a traveling exhibition tour. Prints of the paintings will travel to a selected number of locations throughout the U.S. (e.g. airports, museums and VA sites) to inspire young women to follow their dreams and break their own glass ceilings. We are finalizing our plans for this exciting tour and will publish the schedule by mid 2022.
Proudly She Served Coffee Table Book
A beautiful coffee table book featuring photographs of the portraits and biographical vignettes will accompany the portrait series. The stories highlight the women’s experiences during their military careers including challenges and successes. The women also share the mantras they live by and who inspired them along their journey. Each woman’s story and perspective is uniquely different, but together weave a beautiful tapestry that tells a bigger story of a common bond of service and passes on a lasting legacy to inspire future generations to reach for their dreams.
A Kickstarter campaign will launch later in the month raising funds for the final editing and publication of the book. Look for an announcement very soon!