INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY IN EFFECT. DETAILS BELOW.
The second national Military Experience & the Arts symposium in Lawton, OK will provide veterans and their spouses with free access to 70+ skills building workshops, four days of activities, speakers, performances, and events, and the opportunity to be a part of a vibrant community of authors, artists, poets, and veterans’ advocates responsible for the publication of hundreds of veterans’ creative works.
Midday and Nightly Events are free and open to the public without registration. However, registration is important because, In addition to the workshops and a personalized welcome packet, registered participants will gain access to Art Supplies at the MEA2 “Creation Station,” Discounted Hotel Rates, Individual and Family Portraits, Lunch & Dinner, Oral History Recordings, Veterans’ Resources, a Women Veterans’ Retreat Room, One-on-One Writing Consultation, and more.
Registration booths will be set up at the entrance of the Cynthia S. Ross Hall (Ross) throughout the duration of the event. Upon arrival, check in there to get your registration packet, lanyard, and other supplies. Stop by throughout the event for updated information, to ask questions, or request assistance.
Active Duty military members and their spouses may register for free here.
Spouses and military families are welcome at the Military Experience & the Arts Symposium. Spouses should register using the information above. Children need not register. However, parents should know that daycare services will not be provided, minors must be accompanied by a parent (one responsible for his or her child’s actions) at all times, and that not all workshops and special events are suitable for children. Certain workshop are geared specifically towards helping military veterans engage with traumatic memories through the creative act. MEA asks parents to not bring children to events such as these, or others in which the group dynamic might be upset. In sum, please use your best judgment to protect your children and ensure that our veteran attendees have the best possible experience.
NEW: MEA2 Welcome Packet Available here.
NEW: A silent auction will be located in the north side of the Ross Hall Lobby (registration is south-side).
NEW: Learn More About the Sponsors making MEA2 possible.
Artists, authors, educators, and healers from all over the country will be traveling to Cameron University to offer workshops to the veterans and veteran spouses in attendance. Topics include fiction and nonfiction writing, poetry, filmmaking, visual arts, comic book design, paper-making, art as therapy, and much more.
Click here to see a list of planned workshops. MEA will update the page regularly as more leaders sign up and as dates and times are assigned.
Expect performances from the Marine led Exit-12 Dance Co., screenings and talks from documentarian Ben Patton, physical comedy, mime, mask theatre, clowning, circus arts, and storytelling by Doug Berky, and performances by the renowned flute maker and performer, Albert Gray Eagle.
Click here for detailed descriptions of each featured event.
All of the featured events above are free and open to the public with or without registration. Still, national symposia are expensive and we’ve got a lot planned following the conclusion of MEA2, so MEA will be selling “VIP” tickets to individuals or groups interested in supporting our growing nonprofit.
Click here for prices and directions for purchasing VIP Tickets to MEA2 Featured Events.
BREAKFAST, LUNCH, & DINNER
Breakfast will be available for free at the conference hotel. Lunch and dinner will be served daily in the McCasland Ballroom to registered participants (just wear your lanyard or flash your welcome packet so we know you’re registered). Lunch is at 11:30 AM and Dinner at 6:15 PM. Most meals will take place during or right before a featured midday or nightly event. So expect some entertainment with your chow! We’ll update the menu as we confirm donations from local sponsors and order the rest.
Dinner: Three Course Beef Brisket Meal
Lunch: Market Square Croissant Sandwiches
Dinner: Pizza Pizza
No meals are planned on May 17 as it consists only of a half day of workshops and the closing session.
POINTS OF CONTACT
MEA staff members and our partners in Cameron’s chapter of Student Veterans of America are sensitive to the needs of our veteran participants, expert workshop leaders, and featured performers.
Click here to find the “Point of Contact” designated to address your questions, comments, and concerns quickly and efficiently.
We want our women veterans in attendance, especially those who have survived Military Sexual Trauma (MST), to know that we value your experiences every bit as much as those of our male veterans.While not all female veterans are MST survivors, we know that the needs of female veterans are specific and we hope to anticipate as many as possible leading up to the event.
To learn more about offerings specifically for Women Veterans click here.
Each day, from 8 AM to 5 PM, we will keep a “Creation Station” open for authors and artists struck by ideas so profound that their manifestations simply cannot be postponed. It will be located near the registration booths at the entrance to the primary conference location, the Business Building,. There, you will find free art supplies and a number of writing and arts specialist on-hand to help you get your ideas onto paper, canvas, or whatever.
Learn more about the “Creation Station” here.
LODGING & TRANSPORTATION
MEA has arranged special rates for symposium participants at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Lawton, OK. Close to historic Fort Sill, Comanche Nation Water Park, and the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, the hotel features hiking trails and over 800 plant species. All rooms come with free breakfast, free high-speed internet, and 24/7 coffee and tea in the lobby
To reserve a room participants should call Hampton Inn and Suites Lawton at 580.355.8200. Provide the Group Code “MEA” and the dates of May 14th thru May 17th. Hotel agents will then help you select your desired room and send you an email confirmation. The special MEA rate of $80 + tax expires on May 8th at midnight. After that, the rate goes up to $114 + tax. For those traveling with pets, we recommend the La Quinta down the road.
Direct online reservations available soon. Click here to view the hotel website.
Transportation: Volunteers will be covering transportation to-and-from the hotel to Cameron. Runs will go from 7:00-8:00 in the morning, and then runs will go for an hour after each nightly event. We will also work to pick people up from the airport on an as needed basis. Be sure to let the Participant Liaison, Judy McNeely, know ahead of time if you require transportation by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Room & Ride-Share: For your convenience, MEA has set up a Facebook group for participants and volunteers interested in sharing the costs of transportation and/or lodging. You can access that group here. (Please note: Use discretion and be responsible. Military Experience & the Arts, Inc. does not accept responsibility for any communication or transaction from individuals that are not members of our staff).
YOUR SAFETY & SECURITY
The safety and security of our participants is a priority. Luckily, outdoor emergency call boxes are available across campus, and Public Safety officers regularly patrol the campus grounds and are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The office of Public Safety offers an escort service and also give rides to people after dark to their cars or housing areas close to the campus. They also open locked car doors and can help with dead car batteries.
Cameron University Office of Public Safety
2800 West Gore Blvd.
South Shepler, Room 108
Phone: (580) 581-2237
Fax: (580) 581-5556
Emergency: (580) 581-2911
Inclement Weather Contingency Plans
Due to weather, the following activities have been moved:
The Creation Station will be moved into MCC 212.
Albert Gray Eagle’s flute making workshops have been moved to the MCC Patio.
All other workshops will continue in their regular locations unless tornado sirens sound or we are advised by Cameron’s Department of Public Safety to take the following actions:
Medical & Mental Health Resources
Military Experience & the Arts accepts no responsibility for injuries or illnesses that occur during our symposia and events.
Still, we want you to know that we are here to help should the need arise. In the event of an emergency, of course, you should dial 911. In other cases, tell any MEA volunteer what you need and we’ll do our best to get you where you need to be. In preparation for the event, we have arranged for The Mobile Vet Center to be present and prepared a list of local medical and mental health facilities available through the Lawton, Cameron University, andFt. Sill communities.
The Mobile Vet Center will be present, offering mental health counseling and information about / referrals to veterans resources.
Dates Available: May 14th, 16th, & 17th.
Click here for more information about medical and mental health resources available within close proximity to MEA2.
In conjunction with MEA2, and taking place both at the conference area at Cameron University as well as throughout the larger Lawton community, will be Healing Threads: War, Trauma and Art, an exhibition developed by ART-ifacts Exhibitions, a Project of The Arts & The Military (TATM). This traveling exhibition features a collection of compelling and eloquent art work created by US military veterans in Combat Paper Project and Button Field Press workshops across the United States, and by veterans and civilians in papermaking workshops offered by Peace Paper Project and Panty Pulping Project in the US, the UK and Europe. The artist/activist workshop leaders’ shared mission is to bring the cathartic and creative experience of papermaking to individuals and communities affected by war, trauma, and suffering. The calming physical process of papermaking is enhanced by the collaborative atmosphere in the workshops. The fellowship and creative expression is made even more meaningful by the act of embedding fragments of military uniforms or other significant clothing into the paper itself. The works themselves are catalysts for contemplation and conversation between the artists and the viewers.
For event dates, times, and locations for ART-ifacts Exhibitions click here.
QUILTS OF VALOR
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
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.