Solomon Group, an award-winning leader in exhibit fabrication, AV systems integration and live event production, is celebrating its continued partnership with the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. The company has announced that it will be working on the Expressions of America nighttime experience, alongside Mousetrappe, a leading designer and producer of immersive media-based shows and experiences for museums, theme parks, expos and cultural attractions.
The National WWII Museum announced the new nighttime sound and light experience on Veterans Day 2021. Designed to celebrate the power of individual Americans to impact the world around them during a time of monumental conflict, Expressions of America is set to debut on Veterans Day 2022.
Expressions of America
The show, which is presented by the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation, will feature written words, songs and personal reflections of those who served in the conflict, displayed in an immersive fashion using cutting-edge outdoor projection technology. This will enable guests to experience the wartime letters and oral histories of the museum’s collection in an entirely new way.
“Expressions of America will dramatically transform how today’s visitors connect to the men and women who served during World War II,” says Stephen J. Watson, Museum President & CEO.
“This new experience will leverage the Museum’s extensive collection of personal accounts from the war as well as the distinct architecture of our campus to advance our educational mission in a new and exciting way. We are deeply grateful to the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation for sharing our vision and investing in such an innovative experience that will place audiences in the center of historical moments alongside individuals just like them who helped shape the world we live in today.”
An immersive new show
A nighttime spectacular, an art installation and a musical celebration, Expressions of America will be hosted by actor and advocate for veterans Gary Sinise. It will be located beneath the Bollinger Canopy of Peace, transforming the Col. Battle Barksdale Parade Ground into an immersive outdoor theatre.
The National WWII Museum Canopy Dedication Ceremony from Solomon Group on Vimeo.
Solomon Group used its technological capabilities and Illuminarc’s 50,000 hour lifespan Ilumipod LL fixtures to light and program the Bollinger Canopy of Peace, a soaring architectural centrepiece that was officially opened at the end of last year, with the team including capabilities for year-round, custom lighting. The company will now outfit it for Expressions of America, set to run as a permanent nighttime attraction after its launch.
“When we turned those lights on and started experiencing the way the colour could move the way it could synchronise with music, it just blew us away,” said Bob Farnsworth, SVP Capital Programs at the WWII Museum, speaking at the Canopy’s Dedication Ceremony. “The Expressions of America projection mapping show is going to become an absolute must-see nighttime attraction in the city. And we’re proud to have Solomon as a partner in creative productions for over 12 years.”
Using state of the art projection mapping, living murals will completely blanket the facades of the Museum’s exhibit halls, where they will be projected up to 90 feet tall. Photographs and footage from the museum’s archives will be combined with original imagery and a moving soundscape. This will bring to life the stories of soldiers, nurses, chaplains, factory workers, artists, entertainers and supportive loved ones on the Home Front who each contributed their own acts of sacrifice, ingenuity, bravery and love.
The show’s words come directly from the men and women of the WWII generation, and the original musical score will feature 1940s-era songs performed by New Orleans’s Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Solomon Group has enjoyed a strong partnership with the National WWII Museum for the past 13 years as its AV integrator and fabricator, and the team is pleased to work with the institution once again on this innovative new show, with Mousetrappe as the media producer.
“This really is a great example of all of our services coming to life,” says Steve Fink, Solomon Group’s Chief Innovation Officer. “We produced the dedication event, really making this night an amazing evening for all the attendees.
“At the same time, our AV integration team supports this 365 days a year. And our fabrication team has been upgrading and bringing the story up or to life inside the museum. It really is a great honour for us to help these iconic buildings come to life in new and innovative ways to really improve the city skyline and, most importantly, our community.”
Last year, Solomon Group opened a brand new 45,000 square-foot fabrication facility in Orlando, Florida. The company, which was founded in 2009, serves a number of well-known clients, such as George Washington’s Mt. Vernon, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the International African American Museum and Mississippi Aquarium, as well as top tier theme parks and more.
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