“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   

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.  

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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, March, 17, 2018- 7:30 pm                                                                                                                       

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)                                                                                                                    Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Main Stage Theatre. Film followed by a scholar facilitated discussion     Admission: $15

The first major anti-war film of the sound era, this is the story of a young soldier facing profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of WWI. All Quiet on the Western Front won Academy Awards for Best Film and Best Director when it was released in 1930.

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War of Words

Wednesday, March 14, 2018- 7:30 pm
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Black Box Theatre
Admission: $15
World War I inspired hope, despair, anger, anxiety, patriotic fervor, and more—all of which found its way into our most intense and powerful language, the language of poetry. In “War of Words,” actors lend their voices to long-dead poets, with the aim of helping us hear them as they were: alive with conflicting passions, ideas, and beliefs shaped in response to the Great War. Audiences will find these voices not just historically intriguing, but contemporary—as if the poets are speaking both to us and for us about a war that has yet to reach its end. The conflicted voices of America's WWI poets spring to life in this powerful performance.

There will be a discussion afterwards during which Colorado Poet Laureate Joseph Hutchinson will answer questions about the performance, the history behind it, and the role of poets and poetry in wrestling with historic events.

This event features Black Box Repertory Company members Abner Genece, Regina Fernandez, Kate Gleason, Lance Rasmussen and Zachary Andrews.

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World War I Book Discussion Series                                                            

The 4th book in the series is Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. Please read the book before attending the discussion (most participating libraries will have extra copies to reserve). Discussions will be scholar facilitated.  Please contact the library program you wish to attend as registration may be required.                                                                                                                                                                                                      Feb. 7, 2018- 11:00 am - 12:30 pm   Golden History Museum  923 10th St. Golden, CO 80401.Contact: Meghan Murphy 303-235-5275

Feb. 8, 2018 - 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm  Lafayette Library  775 Baseline Rd. Lafayette, CO 80026. Contact: Karen Andrews 303-665-5200

Feb. 14, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Longmont Library  409 4th Ave. Longmont, CO 80501. Contact: Barbara Walter 303-651-8785

Feb. 15, 2018 - 6:30 pm Loveland Library  300 N Adams Ave. Loveland, CO 80537. Contact: Dr. Amy Philips 970-962-2589

Feb. 20, 2018 - 6:30pm Denver Public Library, Central Branch, Fl 5, 10th Mtn Div. Room,  10 W. 14th Ave Parkway, Denver, CO 80204. Contact: Laurie Spurling 720-865-1487

Feb. 21, 2018 - 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm High Plains Library Disctrict- Centennial Park Library  2227 23rd Ave. Greeley, CO 80634. Contact: Khristine Gamer 970-506-8600 

Feb. 27, 2018 -  7:00 pm Anythink Library  9417 Huron St. Thornton, CO 80260. Contact: Katharine Phenix 303-405-3292


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

Open now through November 2018
ANA Money Museum, Colorado Springs
Admission: $5

Called “The Great War” and more optimistically “The War to End All Wars,” World War I was an event that changed the world’s political map and the fabric of civilization. 

To honor the 100th anniversary of United States involvement in World War I, the Money Museum, operated by the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and located adjacent to Colorado College, is unveiling its newest exhibit: Trenches to Treaties: World War I in Remembrance.

The exhibit showcases coins and paper money from combatant nations, art medals and military decorations, as well as weapons and uniforms to illustrate the events and effects of World War I politically, economically and socially.