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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 10, 2003
CONTACT: Tom McLaughlin
Office of University Relations
908-737-NEWS (6397)
E-mail: news@kean.edu

Kean Professor Invited to Participate in N.J. Vietnam Veterans Forum

UNION, N.J. – Tony Velez, professor in the Department of Fine Arts at Kean University, has been invited to participate in the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation’s fourth-annual interdisciplinary forum, titled Capturing the Imagination: The Art, Music, Theatre, Poetry and Prose of the Vietnam Veteran, at the Vietnam Era Educational Center in Holmdel, N.J., on Friday, October 17.

The conference, which will run from approximately 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., will explore how American military veterans of the Vietnam War have contributed, through the arts and humanities, to American society and culture, as well as to our collective consciousness. The event will feature a series of panels discussing artistic creations that were shaped from veterans’ experiences during and after the war.

Velez, who served as a specialist fourth class in the U.S. Army, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, based in Xuan Loc, Vietnam, from 1966 through 1967, will join several veterans serving as moderators on a fine-arts panel presenting several paintings, illustrations and sculptures. In addition, he will display an exhibit featuring six framed photographs he took while participating in Operation Rapid Withdrawal (RAW), an anti-war demonstration, which commenced in Morristown (N.J.) National Park on Labor Day weekend in 1970. Each of the framed stills made during the protest are juxtaposed with three smaller images depicting graphic scenes taken during Tony Velez’s tour of duty in Vietnam.

Velez said that he was thrilled and honored to participate in the forum for the first time. “I have an opportunity to have a part in the education and re-education of American schoolteachers,” he said. “These teachers will then be able to bring the lessons learned from that war into the classrooms for the benefit of both current and future generations of students.”

The conference is registered as a Continuing Education Provider for New Jersey Educators. Pre-registration is required. For further information, or to register for the forum, please contact the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation at (732) 335-0033.