World War One Commemoration Task Force
August 8, 2017
- The chair opened the meeting by welcoming Nathan Bynum, Alex Pageotte, and Flor Caceras with Arlington Independent Media (AIM). Nathan is a producer /instructor at AIM who supervised three high school student interns including Alex and Flor (Eli Waldman was not in attendance). Nathan also notified the Task Force of the official premiere of the documentary which will be held at the AIM studio on August 16.
- The Task Force previewed the 13-minute film entitled “Arlington’s Untold Heroes.”
- Edwin Fountain expressed satisfaction with the documentary and asked if there was a way for more students to view the film.
- Various ideas were discussed about how to share it locally, regionally, and also nationally. Suggestions included: screenings as part of the library’s November film series; sharing with Arlington Public Schools (APS); seeing if the Virginia Tourism Office would be interested in it; and sharing it with the national centennial commission to see if the project could be featured in a news article.
- The chair asked Alex and Flor to comment on the most surprising thing they each learned about WWI during this project. Alex reflected on the change in Arlington from a rural area to the urban area it is now, while Flor reflected on the importance of monuments around Arlington and the ongoing debate about the segregated names on the Clarendon War Memorial.
- Several members noticed a few misspellings in the video credits that Nathan said will be corrected in time for next week’s premiere at their studio.
- Joe Simonelli motioned to accept the draft minutes from the July 11, 2017 meeting. The members unanimously approved the minutes.
- Frank O’Leary informed the Task Force about trying to have the County’s 2018 automobile decals have a WWI theme. He has met with APS high school art teachers about this idea, but there is concern such a topic is too specific. He is continuing conversations about this idea and encouraged Task Force members to participate on the citizens’ committee responsible for selecting the four student finalists. He will provide more information as it becomes available.
- The chair and vice chair Sara Steinberger provided an update on the Task Force’s participation at the upcoming Arlington County Fair (August 17-20).
- Talking points for volunteers will be emailed to the Task Force members shortly.
- The idea of a raffle has been replaced in favor of using donated books about WWI as prizes for trivia questions. Library staff will email the draft trivia questions to the members soon.
- There was discussion about the need for a close captioned version of the AIM documentary film to be played at the County Fair. Cynthia Liccese-Torres agreed to discuss this with Nathan.
- It also was suggested that a contact sheet be prepared to allow people at the Fair to receive more information about the Task Force and its upcoming activities.
- County Board member John Vihstadt offered to volunteer at the booth.
- Members discussed ideas for decorating the table and attracting visitors (e.g., having a candy bowl, books as prizes, the WWI banners used at the April kick-off event, and the Task Force flyer with the QR code and website).
- Julia Karell updated the Task Force on the WWI film screenings that will be held at Arlington Central Library in November. Edwin Fountain agreed to introduce the film War Horse on November 28. Cynthia Liccese-Torres agreed to add these four events to the national calendar.
- The chair brought the JBMHH Retiree Appreciation Day to the attention of the Task Force. The Task Force will staff a booth in partnership with the MVAC. The chair asked for volunteers from the Task Force, particularly those with daytime availability who have clearance at the base. Joe Simonelli provided an overview of the event.
- Cynthia Liccese-Torres and Edwin Fountain shared information about the World War I Centennial Commission’s Poppy Program. The members discussed whether it had the ability, per the task force’s charge, to buy the poppy packets and sell them at the County Fair (or other future events). All agreed that selling the packets would be a good way to educate and do outreach. It was decided that further guidance was needed from Jim Schwartz to advise about the fundraising limits and requirements.
- The members agreed that the AUSA Annual Meeting (Oct. 9-11) will no longer be pursued as a Task Force partnership.
- The chair mentioned the possibility of partnering with local black heritage organizations to offer talks on African American history potentially during Black History Month in February or Women’s History Month in March.
- Cynthia Liccese-Torres introduced a short piece on the significance of poppies for World War I commemoration, written by Historic Preservation intern Kyle Fisher, which was distributed to the members. The vice chair mentioned the possibility of using such material at the County Fair.
- Courtney Cacatian mentioned there were new opportunities for WWI/WW2 grant applications related to heritage tourism.
- The Chair mentioned the possibility of recruiting some of her drama colleagues to participate in something related to WWI that could be offered at next year’s MVAC conference.
- The meeting adjourned at 7:03 PM.