September 22, 2015

Compiling a list of 2016's best reenactments

What are the "can't miss" reenactments‬ in the U.S in 2016?

We're compiling a list covering all eras and types, from military to farming and everything in between.  Both the great large annual reenactments and the ones that are going to be exceptional in 2016 because of a major anniversary.

Once we're confident that the list is fairly comprehensive, we'll publish the list here and on Facebook and Twitter.  (We're also working on a new section for The History List with, you guessed it, Lists.)

Please add your recommendations below, including the size, location, and what's notable about 2016.  And please ask others, especially those who are members of reeanctor groups, to nominate reenactments for inclusion.

The annual Redcoats & Rebels reenactment at Old Sturbridge Village

Redcoats & Rebels (2008) at Old Sturbridge Village, the largest Revolutionary War reenactment in New England.  It occurs annually.

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September 19, 2015

The history organizations that were among the recipients of the Bloomberg Philanthropies $30 million Arts Innovation and Management grant

These are the 14 organizations closely related to the presentation of history that were among the 262 grantees announced in the six cities selected by the foundation.  

From the September 15 release:

"Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the grantees selected to participate in the foundation’s $30 million Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program for small and midsize nonprofit cultural institutions in six U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The invitation-only program, announced in April 2015, supports a diverse set of institutions including local cultural centers and performing, literary and visual art organizations that present music, film, dance, poetry and other art forms.  (Click here for a full list of the 262 grantees.)"

"Through this two-year initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies provides unrestricted grants to 262 organizations around the country to help strengthen their operational and programming efforts and offers arts management training in fundraising, audience development and board member engagement. All selected nonprofit cultural organizations are locally or internationally recognized groups that have been in existence for at least two years."

There were no categories listed, so these are my selections.  If you think that one of these is in error, or if one or more are missing, please let me know and I'll revise the list.

Boston
Bostonian Society
Freedom Trail Foundation
Museum of African American History
Old South Meeting House
USS Constitution Museum

Chicago
American Indian Center
DuSabIe Museum of African American History

Dallas
Dallas Holocaust Museum
Frontiers of Flight Museum
Sixth Floor Museum

Detroit
Arab American National Museum
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Motown Historical Museum

Los Angeles
Museum of the African Diaspora

 

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September 18, 2015

Visiting the Connecticut Historical Society

I met with Jody Blankenship, Executive Director of the Connecticut Historical Society, and Ilene Frank, Chief Curator, on September 3 to update them on The History List, including the new weekly statewide history events mailing, discuss other projects that we might tackle together, and get a tour of their museum.  Jody was named executive director a little less than a year earlier, recruited from a post at the Kentucky Historical Society, and Ilene Frank was recruited in in May of this year from the Rensselaer County Historical Society in Troy, N.Y., where she had been the executive director.  

I first met Jody on a visit to the Kentucky Historical Society in August 2012.  I wasn't surprised to hear last fall that he'd been chosen for the top job at the Connecticut Historical Society, or that lots of new things are happening under his leadership.

These six ideas may be of particular interest since almost any organization can apply them:

  • Their exhibit, "Connecticut: 50 Objects/50 Stories."  In addition to the theme and approach, note the object signs, the variety of objects, and the way in which visitors could contribute.
  • A major exhibit in which they partnered with a community that has not traditionally had much of a connection to the Connecticut Historical Society.
  • Historical notes on contextual signs throughout the building, such as a sign in an elevator about an important invention by the founder of Otis Elevator Company, which is headquartered in Connecticut.
  • Getting visitors to sign up for their e-mail newsletter.
  • Their campaign, with other organizations, to save funding for history, the humanities, and preservation.
  • A creative approach to merchandise, explained in this "Income Ideas" resources post.

Photos of these are included below.

If you would like to meet at your state or local historic site, please let me know and I'll schedule a visit when I'm in the area.

 

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