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Community block party, film screening to celebrate Veteran Voices Project

The community is invited to a free event on Friday, May 19 at East and Seventh streets to honor veterans and their stories

The San Benito County Arts Council, along with the American Legion Post 69 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9242, is inviting veterans, families and community members to a Community Block Party from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, May 19 at East and Seventh streets to celebrate the culmination of a year-long collaboration on the "Veteran Voices of San Benito County" project.

The event features a neighborhood barbecue, live music, mural celebration and premiere film screening of five short films on local veterans' stories.  All are welcomed to this free event; food and drinks will be available for purchase. The Dugout will be open for those 21 and over.

The Veteran Voices Project launched in the Fall of 2016 with a grant from the California Arts Council's Veterans Initiative in the Arts Program. The San Benito County Arts Council was awarded $9,700 for a two-part project, which consisted of a veteran-led mural, designed and painted by local artist and veteran, Phillip Ray Orabuena, and a short film project spearheaded by Community Media Access Partnership. 

Both the lead artist and lead videographers met with members of the VFW and American Legion at the start of the project to collaborate on the conceptual design of the mural and to identify participating veterans and explore their stories for the short films. The artists, participating veterans and their artistic collaborations will be honored and celebrated at the block party on May 19.

For more information about this event and the Veteran Voices Project, contact the Arts Council at 831-636-2787 or at email

San Benito County Arts Council (nonprofit) (sanbenitoarts)

The San Benito County Arts Council’s mission is to: *Promote diversity, quality and involvement in the arts for all residents in San Benito County *Encourage cultural and artistic growth and create opportunities for the production of art *Provide access to the arts through programs in the visual, performing and media arts *Establish a favorable climate for artists to live and work and for the arts to thrive

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