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A wooden model of a molecule sits on a shelf in Professor Diana Cermak's office.

Knox Student Makes Documentary on Veterans Art Movement

July 15, 2015

Laura Myers '15

by Niki Acton '16

When Laura Myers '15 signed up for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) Chicago Program, she wasn't planning on making a documentary about military veterans with a passion for art. As part of the program, each student is required to complete an independent project.

"I wanted to talk to veterans for my writing, which often involves warfare in a science-fiction setting," said Myers, who majored in creative writing and minored in film studies at Knox.

She was connected with the National Veterans Art Museum on a museum visit through the program. After learning about the veterans art movement, Myers was inspired to re-envision her project.

"We owe veterans much more than just our gratitude," says Myers, who interviewed several veteran artists for her documentary. "What they have to say and what they've experienced is incredibly important and should be shared, and art is one of the best ways to do that."

Though Myers didn't know much about the technical aspects of filmmaking, she took several screenwriting classes while at Knox, including an independent study on war and film. While creating the documentary, she learned from her mistakes and was mentored by Patrick Putze, the National Veterans Art Museum multimedia coordinator.

"Knox prepared me by providing me with an attitude that if you work hard enough and are lucky enough to find the right people, you can accomplish more than you hoped," said Myers.

While participating in the ACM Chicago Program, Myers took two classes and completed an internship. In her Arts Seminar, she attended galleries and museums all over the city; her Core Course gave her a background on Chicago history, politics, and neighborhoods. Her internship was with 826CHI, an organization that helps K-12 students with their creative writing skills through workshops, field trips, and tutoring.

"The Chicago program changed my life," Myers said. "I learned an incredible amount not only about the city but about art, how important creativity is, and how to view things through others' perspectives."

Ultimately, Myers hopes to become a screenwriter and get involved in creative writing workshops for veterans in the Denver area. She hopes to help veterans tell their stories.

"Nothing could have prepared me more to help others with their writing skills than the workshops I took for my writing major and my internship with 826CHI."

To learn about the veterans art movement in Chicago, watch Myers' documentary

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Printed on Thursday, December 14, 2017

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