The Power of Children – Making a Difference
April 7 - May 23
The Upcountry History Museum is proud to host The Power of Children – Making a Difference, a traveling exhibition from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibition aspires to show the power that words, action, and voice can have even when we are faced with hatred, racism, and discrimination.
A most timely project, designed for a broad audience, this major exhibition tells the story of three amazing young people – Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges and Ryan White – who endured so much at a young age, but didn’t let discrimination and hate define them.
What defined them was their courage and resilience. Whether it was Frank chronicling her years in hiding during the Holocaust; or Bridges enduring horrific racism just to get to school; or White bravely facing taunts and other cruelty while fighting AIDS – these stories underscore the bravery found in children.
The narrative thread through all of the stories is empathy, history, and being kind to one another. Through audio-visual presentations, original artifacts, and hands-on interactives, visitors will get to know each child’s story. Immersive environments will invite visitors into the spaces where each child felt safe: the Secret Annex where Anne Frank and her family spent two years in hiding; the first-grade classroom in which Ruby Bridges spent an entire school year alone with her teacher Mrs. Henry; and Ryan White’s bedroom, filled with the things he treasured.
The exhibit, which chronicles their lives, is not only about their individual stories; it is also about the challenges faced by today’s children, things like bullying and standing up for another person or cause, even when it’s not the easiest thing to do. Intertwining the past with the present, visitors are challenged to reflect and find ways that they can make a difference.
This powerful project encourages children and adults to explore problems of isolation, fear, and prejudice, by giving a personal face to three major issues of the 20th century: the Holocaust, the Civil Rights movement, and the AIDS epidemic. Focusing on how individuals faced these issues and highlighting the impact of each child, the exhibition shows how – even in the face of overwhelming circumstances – a single person can make a positive difference.