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Announcing “Modern Warrior LIVE”—the story and sound of a combat veteran’s journey

Presented by the Lied Center of Kansas in partnership with the Creative Forces Community Engagement Grant

LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Lied Center of Kansas announces an addition to the 2022–23 season, “Modern Warrior LIVE,” on Thursday, May 11, 7:30 p.m. The performance is a uniquely immersive narrative and music experience that chronicles one veteran’s journey. U.S. Army veteran Jaymes Poling shares the story of his three deployments in Afghanistan and subsequent transition back home. His personal and emotional story is told alongside performances led by “Modern Warrior LIVE” co-creator and acclaimed jazz trumpeter Dominick Farinacci and a cast of world-class artists spanning multiple genres. Jaymes’s story is his own, but the themes explored in the show are universal. Generations of veterans, and countless civilians, have seen the show and found a deep connection with the stories and experiences. Since the show’s debut in 2017, there have been more than 100 live performances of “Modern Warrior LIVE” around the country at theaters, mental health and veteran conferences, galas, high schools and trauma centers.

Modern Warrior LIVE is a national non-profit organization dedicated to creating an understanding between veteran and civilian communities through live performances, collaborative workshops and the sharing of stories. It aims to break down the societal barriers that leave veterans feeling alone and provides a catalyst for meaningful conversation about mental health, post-traumatic growth and the veteran experience. “Modern Warrior LIVE is an innovative and compelling approach of communicating that post-traumatic stress can result in post-traumatic growth,” explains Mark Otto, executive director of the United War Veterans Council.

The Lied Center is one of 26 organizations nationwide that has received a Creative Forces Community Engagement grant. A grant of $25,000 will support the “Modern Warrior LIVE” performance as well as engagements with local veterans and their friends and families. The grant is a part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Creative Forces initiative in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance.

“It is inspiring to see how arts programming is being utilized by the Lied Center of Kansas to support and promote healing for our nation’s military, veterans and all those who care for them,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Engagement with the arts—the act of doing, seeing, creating, teaching—is crucial to living healthy and artful lives. The expansion of Creative Forces from clinical sites into communities like Lawrence provides significant opportunities for this critical work to reach more people and make a difference in their lives.”

The Lied Center is also partnering with campus organizations for the Modern Warrior engagement: KU’s Office of Graduate Military Programs and the Lt. Gen. William K. Jones Military-Affiliated Student Center.

Tickets for the performance can be purchased at lied.ku.edu/event/2223-modern-warrior, the Lied Center ticket office or by calling 785-864-2787 (prices: $25 adult, $14 student).

About the Lied Center of Kansas:
The Lied Center of Kansas serves the University of Kansas and the greater community by functioning as a catalyst for the arts, creativity, engagement and community building. Since opening its doors in 1993, the Lied Center has presented diverse, world-class performing arts each season, engaged our community with experiential learning through the performing arts, and served as a communal gathering space for shared experiences and connection. Learn more about the Lied Center at lied.ku.edu.

About the Creative Forces Initiative:
Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The initiative seeks to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for military and veteran populations exposed to trauma, as well as their families and caregivers. Creative Forces is managed in partnership with Americans for the Arts, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, and Mid-America Arts Alliance. More information can be found at arts.gov/creativeforces and maaa.org/creativeforces.

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Media Contact:
Betsy Ostrander
Marketing Communications Coordinator
Lied Center of Kansas

Lied Center Ticket Office
1600 Stewart Dr., Lawrence, KS
Hours: weekdays, 11 am–5:30 pm
Phone: 785-864-2787
Email: lied@ku.edu
Website: lied.ku.edu