The Veteran Voices Project began in 2016-17 with a grant from the California Arts Council’s Veterans Initiative in the Arts and resulted in the creation of a collaborative mural, led by Phillip Ray Orabuena, on the East St. side of the Veterans Memorial Building in Downtown Hollister, as well the creation of 5 short films on local veterans’ experiences. This project was a collaboration between the San Benito County Arts Council, the American Legion, VFW and CMAP TV and culminated with a community block party and outdoor film screening in May 2017.
In 2017-18, we expanded the project to examine the experiences of local Latino veterans by partnering with Frank Perez’s Mexican-American studies class at San Benito High School. Students interviewed local Latino veterans and wrote narratives based on their stories and perspectives. Thirteen of these narratives were published in a final book, “Veteran Voices Project: Honoring the Experiences and Perspectives of Local Latino Veterans.” Click here to learn more about this year’s project.