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Registration for the symposium is now closed.

Thank you to everyone who registered and we will see you on Saturday, February 25th

American Slavery:  Bringing Wider Perspectives to Museum Interpretation

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sponsored Jointly by Independence National Historical Park, the African American Museum in Philadelphia and the Friends of Independence National Historical Park


Independence National Historical Park, the African American Museum in Philadelphia and Friends of Independence National Historical Park are pleased to bring you a symposium that considers the experiences of museums that have incorporated stories of American slavery into their main themes and public programs and audience response to a more complete and honest retelling of our history.

Join us on Saturday, February 25, 2012 for the symposium including lunch with our Keynote Speaker,  Lonnie G. Bunch III, Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 


Program Agenda

Morning panels will be held at the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States, located on Sixth Street above Arch Street

Registration 8:00 - 8:45 a.m. Coffee and Tea will be provided

Opening Remarks: 8:50 - 9:00 a.m.

Session 1: Researching and Exhibiting Untold Stories 9:00-10:30 a.m.

Moderator: Emma Lapsansky, Professor Emerita, Haverford College [Biography]
  1. Mary V. Thompson, Research Historian, Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens[Biography] 
  2. Louise Mirrer, President & CEO, New York Historical Society [Biography]
  3. Ivan Henderson, Curator of Education and Public Programming, [Biography] and Leslie Guy, Conservator and Curator of Collections, African American Museum in Philadelphia 

Years of research and writing on the enslaved families living on George Washington's plantation for a major new exhibit at Mount Vernon, the mounting of a major two-part exhibit on New York's history of slavery, and the recent opening of a major exhibit at the African American Museum in Philadelphia featuring those who came from slavery to create a new life consitute the threads of this panel, moderated by one of the region's leading authorities on African American history.

Break: 10:30 - 10:45 a.m.     Light Refreshments will be provided

Session 2: Presenting Stories and Engaging Communities 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Moderator: David Young, Executive Director, Cliveden of the National Trust [Biography]


  1. Louis Massiah, Executive Director, Scribe Video [Biography] and Lorene Cary, Author and Founder and Director of Art Sanctuary [Biography]
  2. Christy Coleman, President, The Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar [Biography]
  3. Gay Vietzke, Deputy Regional Director for Park Operations, NE Region, and former Superintendent at Hampton NHS [Biography]


The many hurdles and reactions to interpreting American slavery come to light in the powerful stories of the nine enslaved for  the President's House exhibit here in Philadelphia, the first reenactment of a slave auction at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, and the addition of tours to the extant slave cabins at Hampton National Historic Site. This panel is moderated by the executive director of the National Trust's Cliveden in Germantown where recently interpretation has expanded to include enslaved household and plantation servants identified in the Chew papers.

Travel Time: 12:15 - 1:00 p.m.

Take this time to stop by the President's House Site, located directly across the street across from the Independence Visitor Center, at 6th and Market Streets.  A National Park Ranger will be on hand to discuss the site and to answer questions.


Luncheon & Keynote Address: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
The Keynote Address & Luncheon will follow in the Liberty View Ballroom of the Independence Visitor Center, located at 6th and Market Streets.

Keynote Address:

Lonnie G. Bunch III, Director of National Museum of African American History and Culture will deliver the Keynote Address.


All Day (Panel & Luncheon together) - $85,
Panel Discussion - $35
Luncheon - $65

To Register, Click Here


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