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 WWII veteran heroes and the preservation of American history. The 1940’s Ball donates a portion of the ticket sales to non profits including: The Colorado 10th Mountain Division Foundation, The Commemorative Air Force, Rocky Mountain Honor Flight, The Audie Murphy Infantry Museum and The Young Aviators 43. So far we have donated over $106,000 to our charities!
Creator/Producer/Marketing & PR Director
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 Logistics Management
1940’s Ball Vintage Salon Management
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!”
WWII Historian, Mr and Miss Vintage US Contest Management
We are honored to have the incredibly talented Celia Morrissey heading up the Mr and Miss Vintage US contest and on our judging panel for the 1940’s Ball:) Her pin up photography is cinematic and so incredibly historically accurate–check it out here: Vintage Beauty Photography. 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.
The inspiration: Edward and Joan James:)