— Theme: Journey and Change Speech —
by Nova Hall, Chairman/President of Flying Over Time
Delivered to the Board of Directors at our Q1 meeting on 2-19-2023
Welcome honorable Board members and Guests
I’m excited about the future of Flying Over Time, after nearly 13 years.
We are fast approaching the 100 year celebration of the Flight of the Spirit of St. Louis, and I’m happy to have you all as a part of this Journey. Believe it or not, my daughter Ara will turn 18 a month before this celebration in 2027, so I’ve found myself considering legacy a great deal. (PAUSE)
At the start of this Journey, there was a discovery in Sedona… and that historic moment, HAS actually made a difference. Donald Hall is remembered, though he has yet to be appropriately honored.
And there are hidden gems still to discover in his story. But we have made a difference.
You have been a part of that. And I thank you. (PAUSE)
– Have I ever shared with you the origin of our name, Flying Over Time? You all know how the story starts, with the discovery of a collection of documents remarkably preserved. But it was my dear mentor and friend, Leandro Soto that gave our organization its name. Recently I learned that he had passed away, so if you will allow me… I’d like to tell you our origin story and why he rests at the heart of this organization, with grandfather and my dad, Don Hall Jr.
Before we were a non-profit, Flying Over time had no name. It was a collection of paintings that Leandro inspired and pushed me to create. I needed an easy A+ at the time, and art was easy for me. So I sought out this artist I’d heard about at ASU. And he was rumored to be brilliant and kind.
So one day, I brought the book on DAH to Leandro as a side thought. He was impressed, inspired, and thus challenged me to paint from this story. He directed me to rip out all of the pages from the book, Spirit and Creator, and to research specific artists like Rauschenberg and Chagall, while sketching interpretations of flight through my inner Childs eyes. It was him, without my knowledge, who had snuck our Asst. Dean Monica Caper, and first Chairwoman into the studio to see my art.
Thus, the book became the art collection, the art collection became the body of work named by Leandro as Flying Over Time, and the collection became the proposed FOT exhibition which Dean Casper supported with $5000. The idea further evolved into a 501-c-3 educational charity, which then became a vehicle to inspire young and old about the story of Donald Hall and me.
I didn’t think it would evolve so much over time. At first, it was simply paint on canvas. And at first… it was publishing the book, as Nina knows, so that grandfather may be recognized. And it was bringing history to life.
And it wouldn’t have been possible without digitizing and the support of people like you. Though Grandfather was literally an “inconvenient” truth to some,… Hundreds of people NOW have lifted the organization and his memory.
I now find myself, looking back at our time of flight together: the impacts it has had, how publishing the book changed everything.
And Now I ask you to consider how we can do better for the world, just as my Grandfather innovated for the world.
This story STILL is inconvenient for many. There will be a major push by many to keep the Centennial focused on Lindbergh and the celebrity of his flight. I know it to be true. It happened on the 75th anniversary.
The lessons from the 75th, make me realize how big of an impact we can actually have for the 100th.
It was publishing about grandfather that changed everything. It changed those at the heart of our organization Such as Leandro and Don Hall jr.. It has changed all of you. And it is here, at this moment in our organization’s evolution, that I wish to challenge us to think BIGGER. How are WE going to build a legacy for humanity?
The Centennial is an opportunity unlike any of us have ever had.
And…Stories, books, the chronicles of life are the literal bread of humanity. It is what we eat for our soul, and how we share our own experiences. At our core, storytelling is how we connect, when we meet strangers and kin.
Therefore, when I learned about Leandro’s passing, I remembered that Flying Over Time never was exclusively about flight. It was about remembering…over time.
And about bringing those memories back to life. Through exhibition, through storytelling, through narrative, through love, and through celebration.
Therefore, today and in the future I wish to broaden our mission to an umbrella of projects. We are the first in this world to understand how many we can impact. The PRE.World project can impact millions as a catalyst for memory and identity.
I do ask you to trust me in leading us towards a change. You may question why I support the PRE.World project, or digitizing the records of grandfather. I get that.
However, we need to realize this is our moment. I’m not the young adult I was at the start of this Journey.
I envision Flying Over Time becoming an international brand for storytelling.
That’s what Flying Over Time means. And it all started with the stroke of a paintbrush…
And the encouragement of a Cuban exile Masterpainter..
And a father that kept a lost collection for me to discover…
And all our grandparents, whom loved a good story.
I ask you all to help me take this message of flying over time to the world.