The birth of this ball began in the 1940s, when founder Khyentse Georges’ grandparents met at a Pennsylvania radio station (WCDL Carbondale).
Her grandmother was a singer and her grandfather became an announcer upon his return from World War II duty. Years later, their love story inspired Khyentse’s passionate interest in the culture and music of the 1940s that brought her grandparents together. It was when Khyentse was working at the Boulder Airport and earning her pilot’s license that she got the idea to hold an event in the large hangar to celebrate that culture.
“The event saw huge success and media coverage in its beginning years and now the 1940s World War II Era Ball is a vibrant and fun-filled community celebration of the Swing Era. Don your classiest dancing duds and join in this celebration of the style, culture, music and spirit of the Swing Era. Circa-World War II vehicles and planes will surround the large, open hangar of the Boulder Airport under the stars of the warming, summer evening. Don’t be afraid to get your boogie woogie on at this popular appreciation of the patriotism, energy and upbeat grooves that earned this special time in history the title of the Greatest Generation.”
– Josie Klemaier
The 1940’s Ball NFP – a non profit organization, produces 2 annual events: The 1940’s WWII Era Ball and the 1940’s White Christmas Ball.
Our mission is to create community and cultural connections that cross generations, genres and borders through celebrating the music, dance & culture of the 1940’s and 50’s. We aim to provide quality performances & educational opportunities which will not only inspire those who already love the “The Greatest Generation”, but will also introduce others to it.
When you buy a ticket to the Ball, you’re not only going to have a great night with our community learning about and celebrating the 1940’s, but you’re also helping to support our veteran heroes and the preservation of aviation history. The 2017 Ball benefits The Colorado 10th Mountain Division and the The Commemorative Air Force. We will also be making a donation to the Rocky Mountain Honor Flight. So far we have donated over $75,000 to our charities!
Khyentse is an award winning producer and organizer that deeply believes in the value of community. Most significantly, she founded and brought to fruition the 12 year old, internationally acclaimed Decibelle Music and Culture Festival – which has been featured in The LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Spin Magazine and on NPR. She also produced and directed the critically acclaimed documentary, “Coup d’etat” with Joan Jett and Amy Ray (Indigo Girls). Khyentse has lived abroad in places such as Africa, Brazil, Myanmar, Tibet and Northern Ireland, studying women’s social concerns, customs and environmental/political issues. She won several awards for academic excellence from Boston University and Columbia College, where she obtained her B.A., including the Academic Excellence Scholarship, President’s Scholarship and an Outstanding Voluntary Service Award. Throughout her career Khyentse has been featured on/in MTV, VH1, NPR, The LA Times, was awarded the City of Chicago’s prestigious CAAP Grant for the arts, the National Organization for Women’s “Outstanding Community Leader” Award and the Windy City Times, “30 Under 30” Award, twice, for the top 30 social activists in Chicago under 30. In recent years, Khyentse was invited to speak at the Chicago Historical Society and won 2nd place in the University of Colorado’s Entrepreneurship competition. In 2009, Khyentse completed her Graduate Degree in Business and Engaged Buddhism at Naropa University and The University of Colorado.
Production Management and On-site Operations
Brian and our onsite operations team has over sixty years of event experience producing some of Colorado’s largest and highest profile events, including the Race For the Cure, Cherry Creek Sneak, Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Tri For the Cure, Colorado Rockies Home Run, Rink at Belmar, Rink at Cherry Creek North, Films On Fillmore, and dozens more. These event professionals are committed to applying their talents to the best representation of the Ball’s hosts, sponsors, and organizers, while guests enjoy the time of their lives.
Sponsorships, Vendors, Development
Production, Talent and Stage Management
Production and Logistical Assistance
Assistant to Director, Hospitality, Logistics
We love having folks who are so focused and thorough at helm of the ship. From Char, “I have been working for the ball for a few years now and it is the highlight of my year. I really enjoy meeting everyone as they come into the ball! ..and I get to see all the amazing outfits!” Say hi to Char at the front desk this Summer!
WWII Historians, Authentic Attire Contest Management
We are honored to have two amazing WWII historians to head up our Authentic Attire contest! Celia’s pin up photography is cinematic and so incredibly historically accurate–check it out here: Nightlight Digital. From Celia: “I love the wholesome fun that the 1940s ball offers its attendees. There are so few opportunities to truly dress up and be glamorous these days, and I love seeing all the lovely clothing and outfits people wear. The best people watching in town— I find it so enjoyable because people are clearly enjoying wearing beautiful and classy clothing and it changes how they behave, in the best way. The Pin-Up Contest is always a blast. The hard work the contestants put into their wardrobe and ensembles is evident and seeing the “girls next door” all glammed up exemplifies what I tell all my clients— that everyone is beautiful, and this look flatters everyone. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to build confidence and a following for aspiring pin-up models, and I look forward each year to the contest, the dancing, the music, and the people!
WWII Re-enactor and Host
So honored to have world class WWII historian Greg Kyle a part of our team! “Each year, my World War Two reenactor friends and I don the uniforms of our relatives to attend the 1940s Ball in Boulder, Colorado. It promises to be a night of vintage gowns, uniforms, music and entertainment, and it delivers! During the previous 5 years, the 1940s Ball has developed into the closest thing to time travel in Colorado. It is probably the most fun I can have reliving the times of our beloved Golden Age music, stars and WWII Veterans. Every year, there is so much happening that I can’t see it all, unless I stop dancing to the swingin’ Big Band music. Regardless, it’s wonderful to pause my 21st century life for one summer night and mingle with guests amongst the airplanes, tanks, jeeps and displays we set up.
Pin-Up Judge, Sponsor
We love our Cha Cha! She’s one of our Pin Up Contest judges with years of experience with pin ups and she has been involved with the Ball for years:) She also behind our biggest Pin Up prize with her company Vanity Dollz Studio where she styles and shoots the 1st place winner! From Cha Cha: “I’m an old soul with a passion for recreating classic looks of yesteryear. Being part of the 1940’s ball has been such a pleasure to not only honor the men and women of this country, but live in the past. The ball recreates something so classic and full of rich essences of the 40’s. You can feel the happiness in the room and the simplicity of how life use to be like.. I love old classic movies where women were fashion and the men were dapper.. Nothing puts you closer to the past than these effects and I look forward to every event.
Street Team/Set Up
Patrick has been a quintessential part of our team for quite some time – helping with everything from promotions to directing the balloon drop set up! From Patrick: “Ive been volunteering with the ball for 5 years now and every time is new and great memories, new friends and just a great time. Its not very often in today’s world were we can travel in time and relive one of the greatest eras in time. It has been nothing but a pleasure to be a part of the 1940’s ball.”
WWII Vehicles and Re-enactors
Battleground Museum / Re-enactors that work along side the VFW/American Legion/ Director’s in the film industry, and other Veteran organizations to include City’s and State’s support for WWII events when called upon. To save military Vehicle’s from destruction and preserve the history. That all may see and touch the artifacts of WWII.
To Honor the memory of those Brave Men and Women who served our Great Nation. Most of our Re-enactors are Veteran’s wanting to continue the mission that we may never forget the sacrifice of our Soldier’s.
We are a Colorado-based, living history group for World War II reenactors and historians specializing in the 101st Airborne. We do, however, also strive to preserve the heritage and traditions other combat soldiers, pilots, doctors, nurses, medics and Rosie the riveters on the home front. Preserving the weapons, artifacts, vehicles of World War II honors those who came before us and sacrificed all. Visit www.fortythieves.org for more information.
The inspiration: Edward and Joan James:)