Special Events

Veterans' Voices: Painted Realities Virtual Artists' Reception

Memorial Day, Mon, May 31 | 11am PT
FREE | No Sign-up Required
Program on Facebook and YouTube

The virtual exhibition will be live and open to the public immediately following the reception at waltdisney.org/veteransvoices. The physical exhibition is currently on view at The Walt Disney Family Museum (see below).

Please feel free to forward this email to friends and family and also to invite guests to join us on Facebook or YouTube for the reception.

We look forward to seeing you!

About the Exhibition

"Tomorrow will be better as long as America keeps alive the ideals of freedom and a better life."
—Walt Disney

"Veterans are the light at the tip of the candle, illuminating the way for the whole nation. If veterans can achieve awareness, transformation, understanding and peace, they can share with the rest of society the realities of war."
—Thich Nhat Hanh

Veterans’ Voices: Painted Realities features original artworks by U.S. military veterans and is the museum's fifth Community Access Exhibition. The exhibition serves as a platform for the American veteran’s voice to be heard through their own words and creativity, rather than from depictions by non-veteran artists. Veterans’ Voices: Painted Realities is currently on view in the museum’s Lower Lobby Gallery, with admission free for active and retired military personnel, as well as their spouses and dependents with valid ID. Beginning Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, the exhibition will also be available to view in a 360-degree virtual 3D environment at waltdisney.org/veteransvoices.

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, as showcased in the museum's current special exhibition The Walt Disney Studios and World War II, on view now in the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall.

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. Through Veterans Alley, 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.

Deported veterans represented in this exhibition are associated with the Deported Veterans Mural Project (DVMP) in Tijuana. A Mexico-based organization serving deported veterans from countries all over the world, DVMP was co-founded by Gregory in collaboration with formerly deported veterans Fabian Rebolledo and Hector Barajas. While Rebolledo and Barajas eventually returned home, other veterans remain abroad. Artworks created by deported veterans for Veterans’ Voices: Painted Realities were shipped from all over the world, including Jamaica and Kenya. Themes explored include trauma, citizenship, race, parenthood, homelessness, isolation, and healing.

Veterans’ Voices is the museum’s fifth annual Community Access Exhibition, inspired by the vision of the museum's co-founder, Diane Disney Miller, who championed arts access as a vital component of the museum's commitment to community engagement.

Special thanks to the Sharon D. Lund Foundation for their generous support of this exhibition.

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