PROGRAM: Making Alabama – A Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit

Presented by:
Alabama Humanities Alliance
Subject: Cross-Cultural Understanding, History, K-12 Education, Professional Development, Varies Audience: All, Children and Families, Colleges and Universities, Educators, K-12, Rural Communities, Young Adult, Youth/Teen

Just like history, Making Alabama. A Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit had its beginnings long before the public will see it on the first stop on the tour in a year and a half from now. For nearly two years, AHF has been involved in a series of planning and strategy sessions as a partner to the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and the Alabama Department of Archives and History.

Because of AHF’s experience and success in the Museum on Main Street Program, a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit, the organization was tasked with creating its own tour to showcase not only 200 years of statehood, but offer opportunities for local communities to get involved with presenting their own ‘making’ of a community.

AHF is working with a creative team to develop Making Alabama – taking it from concept to opening of the 18-month event. Its final days are expected to lead up to the 200th anniversary of Alabama’s statehood, Dec. 14, 2019.

The actual celebration is a three-year long effort, kicking off in Mobile on March 3, 2017, 200 years to the date that Alabama became a territory. Over the next three years, it will invest in schools and teachers, engage communities, and encourage citizens and visitors alike to explore and learn about the state.

Each year will have a theme: 2017, Explore Our Places; 2018, Honor Our People; and 2019, Share Our Stories.

In March of 2018, AHF will put its tour in motion, traveling to all of Alabama’s counties with up to three-week stays at each stop. In January 2017, AHF will begin its recruitment of host communities, which is expected to be a months-long process. In April the council will announce the first round of selected communities.

Any community is eligible to be a host, provided it has minimum event space requirements. If you are interested in becoming a host community, go to As plans progress, more resource information will be housed on the site, including a ‘how to’ guide to hosting, an overview of the exhibit itself, concept designs, teacher lesson plans and tour schedules. It will serve as an online component of the exhibit, giving host communities a place to promote its own events in conjunction with Making Alabama.

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