The effects of the Second World War go beyond the obvious political, economic and social that we live with every day. And as 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the official end of the conflict, it’s a good time to consider many of the smaller ways it has shaped society.
Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum tackles some of those ripples in its new exhibit, WWII and You, which runs at the repurposed Hangar No. 1 of the former Lowry Air Force Base, 7711 E. Academy Blvd. in Denver.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance for specific two-hour blocks to keep guest capacity at a safe level. On-site, visitors will be expected to wear masks and maintain social distance.
“Rather than do another hackneyed exhibit on WWII, we wanted to bring it into the present day and answer the question, `What does it have to do with me?’” explained Chuck Stout, curator of Wings Over the Rockies. “There are so many advances made during the war that have percolated into things we take for granted today.”
Examples of features of daily life that have roots in WWII are microwave ovens (connected to radar technology), satellites and space exploration (based on the development of large, liquid-fueled rockets), drones (rooted in radio-controlled models that were targets for gunnery training) and modern sunscreen, which was distributed to soldiers in the Pacific theater. But Stout noted it was important the exhibit didn’t shy away from the negative repercussions of the war.
“Asian-Americans were locked up in bleak camps, as were German and Italian Americans,” he said. “There was also a big shift from a more rural society to urban. That led to new opportunities in relatively high-tech jobs for women and minorities, but kind of highlighted a lot of sexism, racism and segregation.”
The exhibit will include an actual Beechcraft C-45 aircraft, the G-suit used to help fighter pilots tolerate higher G-forces during combat, and ration books, posters and other items that illustrate the sacrifices citizens made to support the war effort.
Which raises a connection to our current situation that wasn’t foreseen when planning for the exhibit first began - the costs citizens must pay to keep the country safe.
“There are so many parallels between what people were going through then and had to give up, and what we’re being asked to do now,” Stout said. “It’s a great learning experience, and we try to connect these dots and create `wow’ moments for people when that happens.”
For more information and to purchase advance tickets, visit WingsMuseum.org/WW2.
Get Unframed with Foothills Art Center
The Foothills Art Center’s Unframed Gala is going virtual this year and runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8.
The virtual soiree features the opportunities to win prizes during events bingo, interactive stories much more. The auction includes a variety of items to bid on, with all money going to the center. And those searching for the perfect dining option to complement their online attendance can select two options from restaurants in Golden’s Tributary food hall.
For more information and tickets, visit https://one.bidpal.net/facgala.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Kevin Morby full-album performances
Texas’ Kevin Morby is one of the great indie rock musicians of the 2010s, and he’s ending the decade strong with a new album, “Sundowner,” which will be released on Oct. 16. In lieu of touring, and to building up excitement for the new record, Morby is doing a series of livestreams wherein he’ll play his previous albums in full.
The performances will be at 7 p.m. on Thursdays through Oct. 15, with his 2017 album “City Music,” on the 1st, 2019’s “Oh My God” on the 8th and a full performance of “Sundowner” on the 15th.
All in all, people have the opportunity to see one of our strongest songwriters highlight some of his best work, so visit www.noonchorus.com/kevin-morby/ to ensure you don’t miss out.
Streaming style - ‘Purple Mountains’
As this particular summer has demonstrated, we all need to get our act together when it comes to addressing climate change. And with an election just weeks away, it’s an important issue to consider when voting.
Snowboarder and environmentalist Jeremy Jones is part of a new documentary, “Purple Mountains,” which tackles the issue of maintaining clean air and water and a healthy planet. In the film, presented by Protect Our Winters, Jones discusses the changes in the environment he’s seen in his 45 years as an avid outdoorsman and engages with people from all kinds of backgrounds about what can be done to protect the environment.
The movie can be streamed for free at www.PurpleMountainsFilm.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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