“Where Do We Go From Here?”: America in the First World War

On April 6, 1917, the United States formally entered what came to be known as World War I.  This decision followed a presidential election in which keeping the nation out of the war was a major point of debate, and on which public opinion was divided.  Rapidly-changing global events, however, led the US to enter the war shortly after President Wilson was inaugurated for his second term.  By the time the war ended, nineteen months later, the global world order had dramatically shifted, and decisions made one hundred years ago are still having an impact on our world today.

From April of 2017, through November of 2018, the Arvada Center will be commemorating the period of our nation’s involvement in World War I.  We will be looking at the war through the lens of the arts and the humanities, and programming will include art exhibitions, poetry readings, concerts, book discussion groups, theatrical presentations, lectures, panel discussions, a film series, and more.

The Arvada Center is serving as the lead for statewide events commemorating the war, and events will be held not only in our building, but at locations throughout the State of Colorado. We are partnering with organizations in the Denver metro area and beyond, and our plans are being coordinated with the United States World War One Centennial Commission, the official federal entity charged with organizing commemorative events nationwide.

The Arvada Center is proud to partner with the following organizations and individuals on this major project:

Castle Rock Museum
High Plains Library District- Centennial Park Branch Library (Greeley)
City of Arvada
Colorado Humanities
William Convery, former Colorado State Historian
Denver Film Society                                                                                                                                              Denver Public Library
Golden Library
Hayden Museum
Joe Hutchison, Colorado Poet Laureate
Lafayette Library
Lighthouse Writers Workshop
Loveland Library
Metropolitan State University
Money Museum/American Numismatic Association (Colorado Springs)
Platteville Library
Red Rocks Community College

Regis University (Center for the Study of War Experience)

University of Denver- University College

United States World War One Centennial Commission

Read more about Colorado’s involvement in the First World War and find out more about events happening to commemorate its centennial on the World War I Centennial Colorado page.


World War I National Speaker Presentations

Patricia Limerick- Colorado State Historian                                                                                                               Saturday, March 10, 2018 7:30 pm                                                                                                                              Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Main Stage Theatre                                                                                Admission: $15  (Tickets on sale Nov. 17, 2017)         

Noted historian Patricia Limerick, along with a panel of veterans, will speak about All Quiet on the Western Front. Erich Maria Remarque's classic novel, which relates the experiences of a German soldier during World War I, will serve as the basis for the panel to discuss universal experiences of soldiers during wartime, and how these experiences continue to affect them when they return home.  


World War I  Film Series  

A year-long series of films, co-presented with the Denver Film Society, commemorating the centennial of American involvement in World War I.

 Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018- 2:00 pm                                                                                                                               Lawrence of Arabia- (1962)                                                                                                                                       Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Main Stage Theatre,                                                                           Admission: $15 (on sale Nov. 17, 2017)    Film followed by a scholar facilitated discussion. 

 Saturday, March, 17, 2018- 7:30 pm                                                                                                                            All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)                                                                                                                        Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Main Stage Theatrr                                                                           Admission: $15 (on sale Nov. 17, 2017)     Film followed by a scholar facilitated discussion


WWI Commemoration Reading Series

Participants are offered opportunities to read and discuss novels and memoirs that explore triumph, patriotism, loss, separation, death and remembrance. The next novel in the series is Private Peaceful by Michael Marpurgo, a novel about the innocence of childhood and the emergence of youth in the story of a very young British private Thomas Peaceful. Please read the book before attending the discussion. Most libraries have copies available.

Book discussion libraries:

Nov. 7, 2017 6:30 pm Denver Public Library, Central Branch, 10th Mtn Division Room, Western History and Genealogy Dept. Facilitator: Kevin Rucker. Contact: Laurie Spurling, Librarian- Books and Borrowing,10 W. 14th Ave. Parkway, Denver, CO 80204

Nov. 8, 2017 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Longmont Library, Facilitator: Derek Everett. Contact: Barbara Walter, 303-651-8785 409 4th Ave. Longmont, CO 80501

Nov. 9,  6:00 pm - 7:30 pm, Lafayette Library, Facilitator: Betty Jo Brenner. Contact: Karen Andrews, 303-665-5200, 775 Baseline Rd. Lafayette, CO 80026

Nov. 9, Loveland Library, 6:30 pm, Facilitator: Derek Everett. Contact: Dr. Amy Philips, 970-962-2589, 300 N Adams Ave., Loveland, CO 80537

Nov. 15, 11:30 am Golden History Museum,  Facilitator: Kevin Rucker. Contact: Megan Murphey, 303-235-5275, 923 10th St. Golden, CO 80401

Nov. 15, 6:00 - 8:00 pm, High Plains Library District- Centennial Park Library, Discussion facilitator: Dr. Ron Edgerton, Contact: Khristine Gamer, 970-506-8600, 2227 23rd Ave., Greeley, CO 80634


Trenches to Treaties: World War I Remembrance
Presented by Money Museum/American Numismatic Association

Opens May 18, 2017
ANA Money Museum, Colorado Springs
Admission: $5

This exhibition explores the history of World War I as seen through money and medals, and will feature a replica trench as well as other interactive elements highlighting the impact of the war on the people at that time