Find out how Belgian artisans transformed a centuries old lace-making industry to help soldiers in nearby mud trenches stay in touch with loved ones back home during World War I at the “Spotlight Series” at the Holland Community Center 4 p.m. Monday, April 24.
The Holland Community Center is located at 34250 N. 60th Street, Building B in Scottsdale.
The mud of trench warfare in World War I seems an unlikely catalyst for the creation of a new art form, a press release stated. But this is what happened when local artisans in Belgium saw their livelihoods disappear as war was waged in their farmlands and trenches took over their beautiful, pastoral landscape.
Sue Palmer will share her personal collection of “silks” — textile postcards made in France only during WWI — and program attendees will have a hands-on experience as examples of these silks are passed through the audience for personal up-close viewing.
On Monday, April 17 at 4 p.m., digital artist Kirby Plessas will talk about “The Mind of a Machine: AI in Art.” She will show examples of her art created by artificial intelligence.
Then on Monday, May 1 at 4 p.m., award-winning baseball historian and author Bill Staples, Jr. will present “Baseball at the Gila River Incarceration Camp” as the final program of the season.
Executive Order 9066 was signed and issued during World War II by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Feb. 19, 1942. It authorized the U.S. military to force more than 120,000 Japanese Americans into 10 prison camps across the United States. Families slept in horse stalls as they were processed. They were numbered, tagged and sent off to live in remote and barren areas, behind barbed wire and guarded by armed soldiers.
Two of the largest prison camps were in Poston and Gila River, Arizona, constructed on tribal land that now has restricted access.
According to the release, the “Spotlight Series” at the Holland Community Center presents entertaining and engaging talks designed to shine a light on these various topics: art and cultural history, land conservation, health, science, desert living and Arizona stories.
“As part of a larger HCC Lifelong Learning Programs, these 60-minute talks are designed with the belief that our audience wants to share and build community while they learn for the sheer joy of learning,” HCC Executive Director Jennifer Rosvall said in the release. “There are no tests, no papers or deadlines, but there is an abundance of varied engaging content, audience interaction and discussion.”
May 1 also kicks off Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Bill Staples’ 2006 proposal to name Nozomi Park in Chandler was selected to honor Japanese Americans interned in Arizona during WWII and the role baseball played to create a sense of normalcy behind barbed wire.
“Nozomi” is the Japanese word for “hope,” the release stated. As HCC shines a light on this topic, there will also be a small reception to mark the beginning of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and the conclusion of the “Spotlight Series.”
Every year, May is an opportunity to highlight AAPI voices and celebrate AAPI culture. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.
The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution for the celebration on Oct. 5, 1978.
On May 1, 2009, President Barack Obama signed Proclamation 8369, recognizing the month of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Arizona has deep Asian American and Pacific Islander history, the release stated. There are many milestones, historical traumas and culinary cultures within the AAPI community.
Previous “Spotlight” talks have touched on one family’s holocaust story, early indigenous inhabitants of Spur Cross and the Mexican cultural history and heritage of chiles and chocolate.
In April, The Holland Community Center received the Spirit of Scottsdale award, which recognizes one organization each year that helps strengthen and build Scottsdale’s community through their commitment to and involvement in neighborhoods.
The FCF-Holland Community Center is a privately funded community center in the North Valley, serving North Scottsdale, North Phoenix, Carefree and Cave Creek.
For more information and registration, visit the Holland Community Center website at https://hollandcenter.org or call 480-488-1090.