‘Fighting on the Homefront’ exhibit debuts at Heroes Hall; next Voices storytelling evening set
COSTA MESA (Sept. 19, 2019) – The newest exhibit at Heroes Hall will focus not on the battlefield, but on stateside messages of persuasion, the propaganda posters of World War II.
Some 28 posters are featured in the Fighting on the Homefront: Propaganda Posters of WWII exhibition that is on loan from the Detroit Historical Museum through May 3, 2020. An opening reception will take place at Heroes Hall on Oct. 5 from 3 to 5 p.m.
To augment the traveling display, the OC Fair & Event Center team added videos of propaganda cartoons produced by Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. to the exhibition as well as WWII newsreels.
Another addition to the exhibit is a Victory Garden planted with fruits, vegetables and herbs. Created in collaboration with Centennial Farm, the garden illustrates how people grew their own food to help the war effort.
The themes of the exhibition are conservation, recruitment, patriotism and security, highlighting how persuasion was used to encourage those on the homefront to do their part to help win the war.
Messages of the posters include “Can All You Can,” “Uncle Sam Needs Nurses” and “The Battle-Wise Infantryman is Careful About What He Says or Writes – How About You?”
Americans at home were urged to travel less to save gas and tires, take summer jobs on farms, work safely to prevent accidents, help keep prices down and to ration food and other goods.
Fighting on the Homefront explains why posters were so effective in conveying messages from the government. From the exhibit: “In an era before television, posters were an efficient way to grab someone’s visual attention. The U.S. Government leveraged the graphic arts to pass information to civilians and soldiers. Several different U.S. departments enlisted the help of the nation’s most talented artists to create these posters which often contained emotion-evoking scenes and succinct phrases to deliver messages in a mere glance.”
While the word “propaganda” may carry a negative connotation today, the term is used here to describe posters that were specifically created to persuade people to alter their behavior in support of the troops overseas.
These posters were created by government agencies such as Office of War Information, War Production Board, Office of Price Administration, Office of Defense Transportation, Office of Defense Health and Welfare Services, War Manpower Commission and War Food Administration.
The exhibit can be viewed during regular Heroes Hall hours, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday; closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information on Heroes Hall, visit ocfair.com/heroeshall.
Also Oct. 5 at Heroes Hall: Voices -Veterans Storytelling Project
Come for the opening of the new exhibition and stay for the performance.
Heroes Hall and Arts Orange County will present the next installment of Voices – Veterans Storytelling Project on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. The free event will feature four local veterans in a reading of their stories.
Voices is the culmination of a six-week initiative which provides service men and women with a creative outlet and provides a platform for them to share their memories of military duty. The program empowers veterans to use theater and storytelling to recount their military experiences.
Held at Heroes Hall at OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, Voices is a collaboration with Heroes Hall, Arts Orange County and Tierney Center for Veteran Services, and is supported by the Orange County Community Foundation and the William Gillespie Foundation. The program began in 2015 as a way to help address issues raised in the Orange County Community Foundation report, “The State of the American Veteran: The Orange County Veterans Study,” which found that military veterans coming home to Orange County are significantly under-prepared for civilian life.
RSVP for Voices at voicesoct2019.eventbrite.com. The event is free and open to the public, and will be facilitated by Dave Barton. Due to the nature of the content, the program is suitable for adults and mature youth.