A one-of-a-kind exhibit opens in Baldwin County Thursday night, December 6, 2018 and will only be there for the next two weeks. “Making Alabama,” a Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit highlights Alabama’s rich and diverse history. The opening ceremony is at 5:30 p.m. at the Baldwin County Coliseum and the public is invited.
The unique, traveling exhibit has been on the road for more than a year already and will make a stop in each of Alabama’s 67 counties by this time next year. Alabama’s 200th anniversary is December 14, 2019, but Alabama Humanities Foundation wanted to give the exhibit plenty of time to visit each part of the state.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity because Alabama will only be 200 years-old next year so this is their only chance to see it in their home county,” said exhibit volunteer, Christie Shannon with the Gulf Shores Museum.
The interactive exhibit highlights eight historical periods of the state, starting with the period of Wonder in the early 1700s through the present which is called the period of Hope. In between were periods of conflict, struggle and change. Information on each period can be viewed and interacted with using touch-pad screens.
“The heads-up displays are good for someone who just wants to get an overall perspective of the exhibit, but if you want to delve a little bit deeper into the subject matter, the interpretive displays will help you do that,” Shannon explained.
About 200 American History students from Daphne High School got to view the exhibit a few hours early because of a scheduling conflict and it’s really going to help them with a project they’re working on at school. The students will be putting on their own Alabama Bicentennial presentation in February and said the format of this exhibit allowed them to focus on the time period they’re assigned to.
“I feel like it gave us a lot of information, especially because we’re working on the bicentennial projects and it helped us learn more about our topics and it also gave us a way to present our topics,” Brie Clark said.
“In school, we focus more on U.S. as a whole and you don’t get to see really what Alabama has done in its history and I didn’t know about how it was such a vital part in the space race and so many different things and it was just great to just focus on that and get to know my own heritage,” added Hailey Alcathie.
Starting Friday, the Making Alabama exhibit will be open weekdays from 9am until 3pm through December 21, 2018.