Opera Philadelphia

Echoes of Empowerment

First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
Parish Room
2125 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

A concert with Opera Philadelphia, Warrior Writers, and Wildflower Composers, featuring work by veteran artists

We invite you to join us for an afternoon of veteran artists sharing music they have composed as a part of our special Songwriting Workshop Series! This project was a collaboration between Warrior Writers, Opera Philadelphia, and Wildflower Composers, bringing together Warrior Writers' patented writing workshops (focused on empowering veterans to tell their own story and build a community of support), the "anyone who creates music is a composer" ideologies of Wildflower Composers, and live musicians to present a program for veterans to explore expression through songwriting. On Sunday, May 26th, we celebrate the culmination of the program and the veteran artists work with a public sharing and concert, featuring live performances of their compositions.

As a veteran's focused arts organization, part of Warrior Writers' mission is to empower veterans to share experiences openly and artistically, and provide opportunities for the broader public to understand veterans’ experiences; using art as language, we aim to help bridge the gap between veterans and civilians. Please join us to celebrate these artistic voices, and possibly expand your understanding of veteran experiences. And, after the performances, stick around for discussion and light refreshments.

This event is completely free, but seating capacity is limited, so please reserve your free ticket here. Tickets can also be reserved at the door, based on availability.



Warrior Writers' mission is to create a culture that articulates veteran’s experiences, build a collaborative community for artistic expression, and bear witness to war and the full range of military experiences. We are a community of military veterans, service members, artists, allies, and healers dedicated to creativity and wellness. This accepting and understanding community supports veterans through the difficult transition back into civilian life.



Wildflower Composers amplifies the voices of female, transgender, nonbinary, and genderqueer composers by providing accessible and high-quality programming, resources, and mentorship to a global community of early-career composers. They envision a truly equitable and diverse field of contemporary music, where composers of all identities have the opportunities and resources they need to succeed.



At Opera Philadelphia, community-centric programming stands as a paramount commitment, driven by a collaborative process. Emphasizing community building and promoting community-driven artistic creation, the opera company aims to transform its relationship with the broader Philadelphia community. Utilizing opera and the classical voice as powerful tools for collaboration, communication, and empathy, Opera Philadelphia strives to create meaningful and lasting connections within our community.



JULES VAQUERA is a veteran of the USAF and a poet, songwriter, playwright and visual artist. She's been making anti-war art and using art to process her trauma and moral injury for nearly a decade. Today she is an intentional activist dedicated to ending war and militarism around the world. She recognizes the intersectional nature of anti-war work, and is also dedicated to ending racism, sexism, ableism, ageism... and all the other ism's. Hear Jules at https://soundcloud.com/jules-vaquera


KEVIN BASL is a writer, musician and activist living near Ithaca, NY. He served in the army as a mobile radar operator from 2003 to 2008, twice deploying to Iraq. Using a variety of media to tell stories, his work focuses on the rural working class, military absurdity and futility, discovering beauty in the unknown, and learning from different cultures. He has been a writing facilitator for Warrior Writers since 2013, and co-edited "Warrior Writers: A Collection of Writing and Artwork by Veterans" (2014). He’s author of the recently released "Midnight Cargo: Stories and Poems," from Illuminated Press. Learn more at kevinbasl.com


Parish Room at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia

Sun, May 26 3:30 p.m.
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