It Takes a Village
When the next You Are There experience opens to the public on Feb. 22, 2011, visitors will have the opportunity to step back in time through an Indiana Historical Society photograph and into the night Robert Kennedy announced the death of Martin Luther King Jr. to a stunned crowd. This entire project could not have happened without the help of key partner institutions throughout Indianapolis and beyond, and we hope that the result will leave a lasting impression on our guests.
In the King/Kennedy Legacy Room, a space visitors will enter following the conclusion of the speech, visitors will encounter text and graphics, video and both a physical and computer interactive that will put the speech in its historical context. The video clips that help reconstruct the stories of the 1960s in general and April 4, 1968 in specific, come to us via the generosity of Don Boggs at Covenant Productions, who amassed a treasure trove of resources during the production of his award-winning documentary, A Ripple of Hope. Jim Walker at Big Car Gallery is helping to develop a visitor-created conversation/art-piece where we invite those just leaving the speech to record their gut reactions and to build off the comments left by others. Prior to leaving the experience, guests will engage with a touchscreen computer interactive that illustrates the power of words using both historical images and modern-day examples created with the help of the Indianapolis Star. At the conclusion of this interactive, guests are invited to take a pledge to use their words in positive ways and are then connected to the ongoing work of the Peace Learning Center and the International Faith Initiative to put what they have learned into action.
This list does not include the many other individuals and institutions who have supported this project, including financial contributors, scholars, community members, the staff at the Landmark for Peace Memorial and the technical experts involved in what visitors will soon see, but this list of partners is a testament to the ways that the words of both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy can continue to bring groups together who have a shared desire to do good work. Whether through the documentation, collection or interpretation of our history, or through encouragements to express ideas, challenge the ills that still plague our society, or join the effort to enact positive change, this exhibit project is a shining examples of how history can teach and inspire us in very real ways.
|Eloise Scroggins is the director of exhibitions research and development at the IHS. She believes that telling a good story involves not only solid research and impeccable design, but most importantly, a good sense of humor and a playful imagination.|