Events and Ongoing Projects
- The Sidey Collection Project (roles: playwright, writer, producer) – This project began as a commission to write a play based on images from The Sidey Collection and content from archive issues of the Adair County Free Press, which four generations of the Sidey family ran for 125 years. The focus was on the World War II era. Through my encouragement, this initial play was expanded into a trilogy of plays covering the years before, during and just after World War II. Photographs and images of the newspaper’s content from then were used throughout the production. This project has expanded to include The Sidey Collection, Main Street Greenfield, Empower Adair County, Greenfield Development, Humanities Iowa, The Norman Lear Family Foundation, Cumberland Rose Players (local theatre company), Warren Cultural Center, Adair County Extension Service (4-H Clubs), and The Culture Buzz. This project continues to grow, and now includes the three plays, a three-unit touring exhibit (The Sidey Collection Exhibit), and the one-person play (which will be offered through Humanities Iowa). Outreach with the plays, the exhibit and future elements will serve two primary purposes: first, to share the legacy of The Sidey Collection and the journalistic excellence the Free Press represented and, second, to allow the touring elements to serve as ad hoc ambassadors to promote cultural tourism to Greenfield and Adair County, Iowa.
- The Littleton Brothers Legacy Project (roles: writer, author, producer) – This project began while researching for an Iowa History Journal cover story about six Iowa brothers who all served in the American Civil War, and who all perished because of their service. A dedicated group of volunteers, the Littleton Advisory Committee of the Louisa County Historical Society, in Louisa County, Iowa, needed a catalyst to help move their efforts to preserve this story. I was commissioned to help this group with written material and lead efforts to raise funds for a permanent monument dedicated to these six brothers, next to the Toolesboro Mounds National Historic Landmark. With the 2014 official project launch, and publishing of the Iowa History Journal story, 2015 was spent developing the project. Successful fundraising efforts led to installation of the Littleton Memorial on Flag Day of 2016. A successful highway signage campaign placed several markers directing travelers to the monument. To continue raising awareness, a story I submitted to the national publication, Civil War News, garnered front page placement, and 2017 saw the collaboration with musician Chad Elliott to create a 5-song EP album, “Unequaled Sacrifice,” to further raise awareness and funds for this project. 2018 will see the release of an historical novel I will author based on the Littleton Brothers story, “Unequalled Sacrifice.” This project will continue with additional outreach and promotional elements because of the significance of this Iowa and American story, and this story serving as a destination-worthy history to encourage cultural tourism to Louisa County. This project includes collaborative efforts with the Littleton Advisory Committee, the Louisa County Board of Supervisors, local veterans organizations, the Louisa County Historical Society, State of Iowa, the Terry E. Branstad Iowa History Fund, several private foundations, and the Keep Iowa Beautiful Foundation.