Walt Disney Studios — and The Walt Disney Company at large — have long supported active duty military members, veterans, and their families.
In fact, Walt Disney himself once said:
Tomorrow will be better as long as America keeps alive the ideals of freedom and a better life.
Starting Thursday, November 12, The Walt Disney Family Museum is honoring America’s veterans with a new exhibition called Veterans’ Voices: Painted Realities.
The museum recently announced its reopening — which took place on November 5 — following a lengthy closure as a result of the ongoing pandemic. This will be the first major exhibition to be installed since the pandemic started, making it that much more meaningful.
The official press release for Veterans’ Voices: Painted Realities shares these details:
Inspiration for this year’s Community Access Exhibition came in part from Walt Disney’s service in the Red Cross Ambulance Corps in France during World War I, and from his Studios’ extensive contributions to the Allies’ World War II efforts. Veterans’ Voices will run also concurrently with the museum’s upcoming major special exhibition, The Walt Disney Studios & World War II, opening soon in the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall; press release to follow.
To reach artists from the veterans’ community, The Walt Disney Family Museum partnered with Veterans Alley, a non-profit mural project in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Artist, Navy veteran, and founder of Veterans Alley, Amos Gregory, led this art-making initiative with a peer-to-peer approach. “For over 18 months, I engaged my fellow veterans in the creation of artwork designed to uplift their voices and tell stories unheard by the general public. We worked with three distinct communities of veterans: African American veterans living in the San Francisco Bay Area, rural veterans served through the VA Medical Clinic in Eureka, California, and deported veterans. While utilizing techniques influenced by the New Mission School of artwork, we expanded our work from primarily creating murals to include painting on canvas and other more traditional methods of art-making.”
The press release also shared a touching quote from the Walt Disney Family Museum’s Executive Director:
“We are honored to feature the important and powerful work of Veterans’ Alley, and we are extremely grateful to the Sharon D. Lund Foundation for their generous grant that made an exhibition at this scale possible” says Kirsten Komoroske, Executive Director of The Walt Disney Family Museum. “Along with our next major special exhibition, The Walt Disney Studios and World War II, our goal is to expose museum visitors—both in person and in the virtual space—to the creativity and individual experiences of both our local veteran community and the community that remains abroad.”
If you are local to the San Francisco Bay Area and you would like to see the latest Walt Disney Family Museum exhibit in-person, Veterans’ Voices: Painted Realities will be located in the Lower Lobby Gallery. Admission will be free for active and retired military personnel, as well as their spouses and dependents. Valid ID is required.
Are you from a military family? How has Disney’s commitment to the military impacted you personally?