The Next Big Update!

The Historic Magnolia House, also known as the Daniel D. DeButts House, Located in Greeensboro, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Samuel Pass

The UNC Greensboro Museum Studies cohort has been hard at work preparing for the discussion panel planned for October 13, 2020, and the virtual opening of our exhibition on October 24, 2020. With time ticking away, each committee is starting to finalize plans and produce tangible products. Take a look to see how each committee has progressed since the last time we checked in!

Events Committee

Since the last blog, the Events Committee has thoroughly planned the first event! Three fantastic panelists have been secured for our October 13th event, Dr. Torren Gatson, Dr. Virginia L. Summey, and Lisa R. Withers. The process of reaching out to scholars was stressful and a bit daunting but receiving positive engagement from them was a great confidence boost! We have crafted questions for the panel and started to test virtual event platforms to ensure the event goes well from a technical standpoint. Thankfully, everything is in place for the panel discussion. We hope that we can be this productive in the next couple of weeks!

The Events Committee communicates very well with one another. Due to the tight timeline, we all understand that there is a need for consistent and effective communication. Working together has been a great way to bounce ideas off of one another and get to the exhibit’s core. In crafting the questions, we were able to distill our purpose and see a fuller picture of this project’s potential impact. Hopefully, planning the opening will be made more accessible by the work we accomplished as a team to understand the “why” behind the exhibit. Working on this committee has presented an opportunity to sharpen our event planning skills and see the enthusiasm in the community for our project.

Installation and Fabrication Committee

Maizie, Evan, and Kurtis have all continued their assigned duties within the Installation and Fabrication Committee. Maizie has finished the panel’s design and layout. Evan has combed through panel text, looking for any errors. Kurtis has begun final discussions with Spartan Printing to create the final product. Our committee has worked diligently to make the panels’ design and produce our project’s physical component. We are on track to have our final panels finished by next week with the help of Spartan Printing.

Working together as a committee has given up the opportunity to bounce ideas for the exhibition panels off each other and see all of the project’s tangible aspects come together. The best part of being part of the installation and fabrication committee has been crafting the exhibition panels themselves. Putting the researched text into a creative design and background has turned out better than we could have predicted. We are excited to have these panels on display by the end of the month. To see all of our planning, research, and preliminary work come to fruition is a rewarding experience.

Education Committee

Melissa Huggins and Summer Crews working on lesson plans at the Historic Magnolia House. Photo courtesy of Melissa Huggins

The Education Committee has had a busy couple of weeks writing two more lesson plans and meeting with Ms. Melissa Knapp, the Magnolia House Historic Site Manager and Curator. Summer has been diligently working on presenting questions, feedback, objectives, and more for these plans. Melissa has been producing the core narrative for each program. In the first week, we created a lesson plan covering the Chitlin’ Circuit. The lesson plan also introduced the Green Book and presented some African American performers who would have visited Magnolia House. This week, we met with Ms. Knapp to collaborate on a plan that focuses on the shoebox lunches. We plan to include the Green Book’s importance for African Americans navigating the Jim Crow era and sunset laws throughout the US. This lesson comes with an exciting activity that will engage student skills in mapping and history. The meeting with Ms. Knapp was incredibly productive. We’re so excited to continue working on this project, with one more lesson plan in the works!

Blog, Budgeting, and Marketing Committee

The Blog, Budgeting, and Marketing Committee have been hard at work, spreading the word of the up and coming events surrounding our exhibition. Emily has been overseeing the blog, which includes collecting information from each committee and editing and formatting. She also manages the budget. Matthew has been in charge of media and marketing. He has been creating eye-catching graphic designs on virtually distributed flyers and has contacted multiple media outlets. So far, the Discussion Panel’s marketing materials for October 13 have been made and distributed to media outlets such as the Magnolia house and the UNC Greensboro History Department social media pages, among others. As a committee, we meet bi-weekly with Ms. Melissa Knapp, the Magnolia House Historic Site Manager and Curator, to discuss developments over the past week and advertising plans.

As a committee, we work well together. We understand that communication is critical, and sharing the workload between us helps our committee run smoothly. We have become each other’s editor and person to bounce ideas and thoughts off of. For Emily, the most enjoyable part of being a part of this committee has been seeing the project come to life through her peers’ eyes as the blog comes to life. With some assistance, Matthew has enjoyed learning to appeal to the public with color coordination and imagery with advertising the work with the Magnolia House. It has been fun to match the flyer’s color to the tin roof of the historic house.

Next week our cohort will host our first event! The Events Committee has organized a panel discussing how the African American Motorist Green Book fits Greensboro’s overall Civil Rights Movement and beyond. Also, the importance of why we must work to preserve and document Green Book sites. This event will be on October 13, 2020, at 6pm via Zoom. Please check the Historic Magnolia House Facebook page for more information regarding the event.

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Follow the UNCG public history graduate students as they enter their final months of creating an exhibit for The Historic Magnolia House in Greensboro, NC.

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Making The Magnolia House Exhibit

Making The Magnolia House Exhibit

Follow the UNCG public history graduate students as they enter their final months of creating an exhibit for The Historic Magnolia House in Greensboro, NC.

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