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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Telling Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities

Mission: The Telling Project works to deepen our understanding of the military and veterans’ experience. Greater understanding fosters receptivity, easing veterans’ transitions back to civil society, and allowing communities to benefit from the skills and experience they bring with them. Through this understanding, a community deepens its connection to its veterans, itself, and its place in the nation and the world.

Results: Since 2008, The Telling Project has produced fourteen original performances, put over eighty veterans and family members on stage and performed in twelve states and seventeen cities across the nation. It has been featured by the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, NPR, Inside Higher Ed and others, and supported by the Bob Woodruff Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Library of Congress, The Smithsonian Institution and others.

Target demographics: We work with military veterans and family members and the communities to which they return upon completing their service.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 10,000, including veterans, community members and collaborators

Geographic areas served: All

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Board Member

Rating: 5

The Telling Project plays an essential role bridging the growing gap between the military and civilian communities in a time of war. As a civilian audience member and board member, my understanding of military life is infinitely more nuanced having heard from naval electricians, combat marines, medics, and the wives of deployed combatants. There is not a performance I've seen (even if I've seen it multiple times) at which I did not both laugh out loud and weep. As an ardent liberal and opponent of "the war" I have learned that there is no such thing as "the war." There are as many wars as there are members of the military. Telling has shown the human experiences of its participants which defy easy classification and silence sloganeering. I am a better citizen for being a less clear proponent or opponent of our military policy overseas. On a personal note, Telling has helped me better understand my veteran father's experiences during Vietnam and has helped undo our silences around that era. I am proud to work with Telling. I am proud of the participants who open up their memories and hearts in such a public forum. I am forever changed by their testimony and have enjoyed every minute of every show. They are an amazing group, as performers and as people. The challenge now for the Telling Project is to get the word out to more communities and to draw more broad-based funding so that financial need is not the reason more veterans and families and more audiences are missing out of this transformative experience.