Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

For updates on Stowe Center programs and events, sign up for our enews at http://harrietbeecherstowe.org/email.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Reinterpretation: the exciting re-imagining of the Stowe House experience

The Stowe Center has undertaken an effort to reconsider the visitor experience in the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and how we share Stowe’s story with our guests. This process, called “reinterpretation,” is the result of years of brainstorming, group discussions and re imagining. It is part of a larger multi-year collections preservation project to upgrade the interior of our central exhibit, the Stowe House.

Picture of Linda NorrisThis is a very exciting time for the Stowe Center, as the house has not been reconsidered or reinterpreted since its opening in 1968. Reinterpretation is usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience - and now is our time! This past spring we began working with interpretive consultant Linda Norris. Linda has worked with museums and organizations across the world to help them shape compelling stories and experiences. She has made several visits to Hartford to lead staff and community brainstorm sessions, reinterpretation exercises and prototyping, and has featured us in three posts on her blog, The Uncataloged Museum:

The posts have generated discussion about museums, historic sites, and visitor experiences among many museum professionals and tourists. Be sure to read her insight on her visits!

The goal of the reinterpretation is to bring the call to action that is present in our public programs (ie. Salons) into the Stowe House. How might we do that? What would you like to see as part of the Stowe Center experience? What experience in the House would inspire you to take action on an issue that is important to you? Please share your ideas and thoughts in the comments section below - who knows, your idea may impact our plans for the House!

No comments: