The “Art of War Initiative” will be formally rolled out to the public here shortly. We are excited to be able to team with the Todd Weiner Gallery in Kansas City in putting together a long term project that focuses on CGSC’s vast collection of art and gifts. Many of the objects are displayed throughout the college on the walls and in the display cases in the Lewis and Clark Center and throughout the campus. But, that is only a fraction of the total collection and the objects that are on display could use some context and information so that our students and faculty could learn more about them.
The first public exhibit was last September at the Weiner Gallery in Kansas City with a “First Friday” opening event. The latest public exhibit is at the Lenexa City Hall beginning March 1 and running for two months. These exhibits are designed to educate the public about the College using the art objects as the medium. As I travel the area in meetings with corporations and even local governments, the lack of knowledge about the college, the international military student program, and everything about the Army is truly astounding. By helping to share the collection with the public, we hope to expand the knowledge in the larger community about the richness of the programs that go on here at CGSC and Fort Leavenworth.
The collection itself is a hidden treasure that needs to be preserved, promoted and presented. There are more than 3,800 items in the collection and most are stored away due to lack of exhibit space. Our initiative is designed to catalogue the collection in a searchable/shareable database, celebrate the highlights of the collection in a book, and engage the public, as well as our CGSC audience, with exhibits that explore the depths of the collection. Our initiative is designed to do all of that as well as to build a permanent endowment that will allow us to continue the project into the future. Many don’t know, but the collection grows every year with the class gift, the international military student gifts, International Hall of Fame inductee gifts, and other gifts to the college. So, the collection is not static. We need to be able to support into the future to keep the collection alive and engaging.
The initiative will also help generate funds for Foundation operations. We are asking individuals, corporations, and other foundations to help us raise the funds to do all of the tasks we’ve set out to achieve and to help us support ongoing Foundation programs. We have set a three year goal of three million dollars in order to achieve our vision.
In order to better explain the project, we have established a website – theartofwarinitiative.org. We hope you will visit this site to explore opportunities to become better informed and to support the initiative with your time, talent and treasure as you are able. We hope you’ll visit the upcoming exhibit during it’s time at the Lenexa City Hall and that you will consider getting involved with the initiative.