June 23rd 2015 – On July 3rd, Main Street in Putnam will be transformed to a bygone era as First Fridays celebrates World War II & the Arts. From 6:00pm to 9:00pm, the public is invited to join in the festivities with dozens of vendors, live performances, and community art projects. This third month of the season continues the exploration of the 2015 theme A Century of Art, with a focus on the 1940’s. Throughout the evening, patrons will catch a glimpse of the art, music, and pop culture that defined the decade.
The United States was forever changed during WWII, with thousands of service men and women giving a new definition to the term “hero.” During the 1940’s, art – music, film, and entertainment – worked to boost morale and encouraged support for the war effort. With the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, this month’s event will feature several performances that celebrate the heroes of the era. The event will begin with a live performance of the National Anthem at 5:45 pm. The evening will also feature a military Color Guard as well as pop up performances of patriotic songs. Visitors will also have a chance to view items from WWII on display courtesy of the Aspinock Historical Society. In honor of the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of the war, there will be a reenactment of a famous photo, sure to add a “kiss” of excitement to the evening.
Entertainment and art were an important part of WWII, with film and print media each playing a role in the war effort. Actresses of silver screen fame like Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth became “pinups” with photos and posters lining the walls of military ships and tanks, boosting morale. In contrast to the darkness of war, pinup art, including the famous “nose art” of WWII planes and jets, helped to add bright and hopeful imagery to keep airmen company during their time in the sky.
Likewise, this decade was the golden era of comic books, with sales of these inexpensive magazines increasing dramatically during the war. With stories depicting heroes triumphing over evil, and often including patriotic themes, comic books were the perfect way to engage and encourage young readers in this time of conflict. Embodying the connection between comic books and WWII is Captain America, a popular comic book superhero of the time.
For the July 3rd event, visitors are encouraged to dress up as their favorite comic book hero or 1940’s era pinup. For those who dress up, there will be official First Fridays Pinup Girls handing out prizes disguised as “War Bonds” to those with the most impressive costumes. The Community Arts table will also feature comic book strips for children to decorate and color. Younger attendees are also encouraged to be on the lookout for comic book themed villains in the crowd during the event. And in keeping with the popularity of radio entertainment of the 1940’s, The Amazing Taylors will feature a live radio “broadcast” complete with sound effects.
Combined with the above WWII themed events and features, there will also be over two dozen art vendors, live music by the KC Moaners as well as the Cove Street Band, gallery openings, Art Attacks, and more. All are welcome to this free, award-winning outdoor art festival! For more information, visit: www.discoverputnam.com.
Ann Monteiro, First Fridays Chair & PBA Vice-President – email@example.com
Jennifer Beckett, PBA PR & Marketing Chair – firstname.lastname@example.org