Atlanta History Center to open Gatheround: Stories of Atlanta exhibit

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The Atlanta History Center will celebrate the opening of its “cornerstone” exhibition, Gatheround: Stories of Atlanta, tomorrow, July 2. There will be free admission and a full day of activities. Find out more about the opening day event  at this link.

The 7,700-square-foot exhibition explores the city’s history through stories of individuals who created the Atlanta we know today. They are Atlantans of different backgrounds and perspectives, from unsung citizens who contributed to the city’s progress in modest ways to high-profile leaders who played vital roles in landmark events.

The exhibition is arranged by broad themes: Family & Community, Politics & Justice, Urban Growth and Cultural Life. Within these thematic zones are interactive spaces, including re-creations of a barbershop and a diner – places where neighbors, friends, and others traditionally gather to share stories and build community.

Gatheround: Stories of Atlanta boasts nearly 750 artifacts, documents, photographs, and books. The artifacts are diverse and sometimes surprising, including a 1930s chair from a barbershop of Alonzo Herndon, Atlanta’s first African American millionaire; a dress, go-go boots, and bouffant wig worn by Cindy Wilson of the B-52s; an early 1900s Atlanta trolley seat for two; a homemade racer from Atlanta’s 1948 All-American Soap Box Derby; a 1918 “Votes for Women” sash representing the women’s suffrage struggle; and the first-baseman’s mitt of Negro Leagues star James “Red” Moore of the Atlanta Black Crackers.

In addition to objects and papers, visitors will find music, oral histories, hands-on activities and computer-based games. There is something for every age, learning style, and level of knowledge.

A highlight is the set-like interactive spaces containing Meet the Past museum theatre performances that help visitors understand and appreciate the people, institutions, and events that shape the stories of Atlanta. Addae Moon, the Atlanta History Center’s Director of Museum Theatre, wrote narratives for actors portraying notable Atlantans, such as Rosalyn Walton of the Atlanta Nine, the students who desegregated Atlanta Public Schools; John M. Slaton, the Georgia governor who commuted Leo Frank’s death sentence; a newsboy who recounts the Atlanta Race Riot; and Eli Sotto, a Greek Holocaust survivor who ran a barbershop for six decades in Midtown.

Visitors to Gatheround are greeted by an introductory video, with appearances by notable current and former Atlantans, including Mayor Kasim Reed, Martin Luther King Jr., Indigo Girls, and Victoria Huynh of the Center for Pan Asian Community Services, all sharing perspectives on what makes Atlanta unique.

Guests also have the opportunity to photo-bomb themselves directly into historical events, including an 1890s Georgia Tech football game, a 1960s anti-establishment protest in Piedmont Park, or, more recently, the Dragon Con pop culture gathering. They can email the image of themselves as a keepsake.

For more information, visit AtlantaHistoryCenter.com.

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