AmeriCorps Members Produce Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts through the 2009 NW National Service Symposium

Inside the symposium art gallery

Inside the symposium art gallery

A national service arts and writing symposium offers Oregon and Washington AmeriCorps members a chance to create testaments to the impact of service.

A few months ago, I posted an announcement about the NW National Service Symposium. This is an annual event that invites national service participants from across Oregon and Washington to translate their experiences into the literary, visual, and performing arts. This year’s event was held May 14-15 at Portland State University, and it was a fantastic opportunity for the participants to share what they created.

We have posted many of the projects online this year, and they are gathered at on the symposium blog. I encourage you to take a peek. If you want a quick glimpse of the many visual arts projects submitted to the event, you can find them in our online gallery.

With more than 100 projects collected, it’s easy for excellent ones to get caught in the shuffle. As the unbiased coordinator of the project, I am not supposed to have favorites. Still there is an essay that I would like to call attention to.

The writer’s name is Judy Goard, and she identifies herself as a Senior VISTA. She currently serves with Catholic Community Services in Salem, OR. After hearing President Kennedy’s call to Americans to serve while she was in high school, she dreamed of joining the Peace Corps. Family obligations sidetracked her, and she finally joined the Peace Corps in the 1990s at age 49. She completed a VISTA term in Alaska after that, and a few years later, two more terms in Oregon. I am inspired by Judy’s story, which you can read online. Please check it out, as well as many of the other inspirational and outstanding projects.

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