The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. (CBT) is a professional, multigenerational ensemble company dedicated to the production of new works. Its mission is to give artistic voice to the issues and dreams of people who have been silenced by racism, classism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and other forms of oppression. CBT serves communities by returning their stories to them with honesty, dignity, and concern for the aesthetic of that particular community. CBT has numerous touring performance options and a range of cultural services including workshops in: ensemble process, storytelling and story circles, spoken word, song development, and an extended digital storytelling workshop. Learn more at www.carpetbagtheatre.org
Grace After Fire
The mission of Grace After Fire is to provide the means for women Veterans to gain knowledge, insight and self-renewal. Grace is designed to serve women who served from all eras and branches of service (currently 2.2M), and is preparing to meet the high numbers of women (approximately 14 percent of the armed services) currently serving. Although women veterans represent less than 6 percent of veterans accessing VA healthcare, 71 percent of the women who do use the VA System have a mental health concern. Unfortunately, a challenge that can occur in offering VA services to women is providing accessible gender-responsive and trauma-informed care at all locations.
Grace is a virtual organization reaching across the nation, and is already engaging with women veterans still in theater as they prepare to come home. Grace’s Board of Directors is comprised of 80 percent veterans, managed by women veterans; and our Clinical Advisory Committee is comprised of 100 percent women trauma experts, researchers, and addiction specialists. To learn more, visit http://www.graceafterfire.org/
MECA (Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts) is a community-based non-profit organization committed to the healthy development of under-served youth and adults through arts and cultural programming, academic excellence, support services, and community building. In 2016 MECA provided arts education, support services, and multicultural artistic performances and events to 2,761 students and their families, helping to build discipline, self-esteem, and cultural pride. MECA emphasizes: Justice, Openness, Equity, Creativity to nurture artistic growth and expression, Individual respect, Caring attitudes, Diversity within community. To learn more about MECA, visit www.meca-houston.org.
The Telling Project is a national performing arts non-profit that employs theater to deepen our understanding of the military and veterans’ experience. Greater understanding fosters receptivity, easing veterans’ transitions back to civil society, and allowing communities to benefit from the skills and experience they bring with them. Through this understanding, a community deepens its connection to its veterans, itself, and its place in the nation and the world. Since 2008, The Telling Project has produced 50+ original performances, put over 250 veterans and family members on stages across the United States, including such venues as the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress, The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis MN, and the Alley Theater in Houston TX. It has been featured by PBS, the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, NPR, Inside Higher Ed and others, and supported by the Bob Woodruff Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Smithsonian Institution and others. The Telling Project received 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit in 2009. It is based in Austin TX. For more information visit thetellingproject.org
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces. Our voice was instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, development of the national cemetery system, in the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, we won a long-fought victory with the passing of a GI Bill for the 21st Century, giving expanded educational benefits to America’s active duty service members, and members of the guard and reserves, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. We were the driving force behind the Veterans Access and Accountability Act of 2014, and continually fight for improved VA medical centers services for women veterans. We have many programs and services that work to support veterans, service members and their families, as well as communities worldwide. Learn more at www.vfw.org
Writers In The Schools (WITS)
Since 1983, Writers in the Schools (WITS) has worked hand-in-hand with e ducators and professional writers to teach students the craft of writing. WITS is transforming the hearts and minds of young people all over Houston. The WITS program makes learning an exciting adventure, while improving the academic, social, and creative abilities of children.
WITS founders, Phillip Lopate and Marv Hoffman, saw an opportunity to capitalize on the writing talent in the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program – one of the best in the country – and in the diverse Houston community, to provide a valuable service to area schools. Today, Executive Director Dr. Robin Reagler leads the organization, and Lucy Chambers, a publisher and former teacher, leads the Board of Directors. For more information, visit www.witshouston.org
Goodwill strives to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by helping people reach their full potential through education, skills training and the power of work. Goodwills meet the needs of all job seekers, including programs for youth,
seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities, criminal backgrounds and other specialized needs. In 2016, Goodwill helped more than 313,000 people train for careers in industries such as banking, IT and health care, to name a few — and get the supporting services they needed to be successful — such as English language training, additional education, or access to transportation and child care.
Goodwill Industries International is committed to inclusion and diversity and respecting the people we serve, our community members, and the people with whom we work. We believe in putting people first, providing a safe space for our employees and creating environments where people have the support they need to build their work skills and care for their families. We are proud that people from diverse backgrounds have come to Goodwill to build their skills and their career goals. We will continue this tradition of serving others and building communities that work. Visit www.goodwill.org