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Nightly Events Confirmed for MEA Symposium in Lawton, OK – May 14-17, 2015

Each night, participants, volunteers, and workshop leaders will be treated to an array of public events centered on veterans and creative expression. Expect everything from theatrical performances, to readings and art shows, to public lectures and group activities.

Below is a list of our confirmed nightly events. We’ll be updating this page as our nightly schedule grows.

NEW: Take a Virtual Tour of the conference location.

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1EXIT12  is a contemporary dance company committed to creating and performing works of high cultural significance that inspire conversations about worldly differences and the lasting effects of violence and conflict on communities, families, and individuals. Through movement, we educate audiences about the reality of war, advocate diversity and mutual understanding through cultural exchange, and champion the humanity and dignity of all persons.

EXIT12  supports and advances the notion that art heals, and is devoted to serving those who have been touched by conflict by expressing their stories.

Learn more about Exit12 on their website here.

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A documentary filmmaker and author with over 15 years of experience in media, Ben Patton established Patton Productions in 2005, bringing together a talented group of editors, cinematographers and composers to produce high quality biographical, promotional and commercial videos.

As the grandson of World War II General George S. Patton, Ben admits that history and narrative is central to his work as a filmmaker. His famous forebears aside, it is the exercise of taking the time to listen to an individual or family’s story that reveals the magnificence of any life. Everyone has a story worth preserving — the trick is to figure out how to peel away the layers and capture that story in a way that can be cherished by future generations.

1Prior to forming Patton Productions, Ben worked for five years at New York PBS affiliate WLIW/WNET as a development executive and producer. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and is currently completing his Masters degree in Developmental Psychology at Columbia University-Teachers College. Ben has also just completed Growing Up Patton: Heroes, History and Family Wisdom, published by Berkley-Caliber, an imprint of Penguin Books.

In addition to leading workshops throughout the entirety of the MEA Symposium, workshops similar to the now famous I WAS THERE Media Workshop program, he will give a talk about his career, work with veterans, and growing up a Patton.

Learn more about Benjamin Patton and Patton Productions on their website here.

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Doug Berky has been creating and evolving his own brand of physical theater for over thirty years. His original performances are an intricately woven fabric of Commedia Del Arte, physical comedy, mime, mask theatre, clowning, circus arts, and storytelling. Doug is known internationally for his mask construction. He designs and constructs the masks for his own performances as well as creating all of the sets, choreography, scripts and many of the costumes.

1Doug began his professional training at the Dell’Arte School of Mime and Comedy in Blue Lake, California. He toured for eight years with established companies such as The Montanaro Mime Theatre, (South Paris, ME) The Two Penny Circus, (Barre, VT) and Sunshine Too, the touring theatre of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (Rochester, NY).

Doug has performed nationally and internationally in places as varied as Fletcher, NC and Matanzas, Cuba. He appeared in the award-winning NBC children’s television series, “See-Saw,” in Portland, ME, and in four television specials for Swedish National Television in Stockholm, Sweden. He has been the featured performer at events as diverse as The Eugene O’Neill Theater Cabaret Symposium and a national gathering of the National Council of Churches. Doug has performed and taught as Artist-In-Residence at numerous schools and colleges including schools for the deaf, The Commedia School (Copenhagen, Denmark), Roanoke College (Salem, VA), Furman University (Greenville, SC), and the University of Wisconsin, Racine.

As a mask maker, Doug has designed masks and puppet heads for numerous Shakespearean productions including “Midsummers Nights Dream” at Centennial High School, Franklin, TN, and The Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Nashville, TN, and “The Tempest” at Furman University, Greenville, SC. He has also designed Commedia Dell’Arte masks for a number of college and summer stock productions. Other mask design and constructions include professional ballet productions, music video productions, television production, individual performing artists, and his original theatre productions.

Doug has performed and taught throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe in schools, colleges, and festivals. He is known internationally for his design and construction of masks.

Learn more about Doug on his website here.

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Albert Gray Eagle is a noted flute artist and performer who is skilled in the craft of making traditional flutes along with regional forms of creative writing. Residencies with Gray Eagle may include the art of flute making and playing of the instrument while building on an understanding of history relevant to the Native American. He may provide storytelling for both children and adults that offer a perspective and philosophy of Native American culture of the past and present. Through his artistic talents and gentle nature for teaching, participants will be guided to develop their creative and artistic selves. As a U.S. Army veteran, Gray Eagle performs frequently for veterans events.

Learn more about Albert Gray Eagle through the Oklahoma Arts Council website here.

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The Wichita Mountains Quilt Guild is proud to offer a showing of Quilts of Valor at Cameron University for the 2nd Military Experience & the Arts Symposium. The community service portion of the Wichita Mountains Quilt Guild is an active group that meets weekly at the Crossroads Baptist Church.  The WMQG community service group regularly supports Pregnancy Resource Center, Birth Choice, The Veterans Center, Riverside Indian School and other organizations in the Lawton/Ft Sill Community. This group has made all of the Quilts of Valor for this MEA2 show.

​They accept donations of fabric (100% cotton is preferred) and all resources go to supporting the community.  The public is welcome to attend a community service sew day. Sue Kolker is the leader of this group and she, along with quilt guild member and Post 9/11 Army veteran Sarah Godsave, has organized the Quilts of Valor quilt show for the Military Experience & the Arts Symposium at Cameron University.

Learn more about The Wichita Mountains Quilt Guild here

Learn more about Quilts of Valor here.