250 Years of Independence

250 Years of Independence

June 17, 2019

ContemPlace is working with a number of groups who are planning to mark the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence with a celebration of who we are and where we’ve come from, while looking ahead to future aspirations and how we might achieve civic and cultural goals. We are exploring how we can help Americans feel connected to our nation and actively participate in its future, not only by acknowledging achievements that have been made, but by encouraging them to overcome current challenges.

In line with this effort, ContemPlace co-hosted with USA250 a planning session for America’s 250th anniversary in Kansas City on September 28, 2018. Participants included professionals from historic sites, museums, and other cultural institutions—both locally and nationally—interested in working to structure plans for commemoration of America’s semi-quincentennial coming in 2026. Questions and topics discussed at the meeting included:

  • What is the big idea that would get Americans across the country to engage in this experience? What are the themes that this event would build on?
  • What is the experience? How does the activity flow, regardless of what the physical manifestation is?
  • What does USA250 produce and offer to the rest of the country? This could be a new building, exhibits, or a series of events and programs.

How can various localities (in this case Kansas City) participate in this national occasion?