When I was 5 years old, my dad took me to Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington.
I wanted to be a good son, so when we took a guided tour of the estate, I didn’t complain. In fact, I was in awe, imagining the Leader of the Revolution strolling through the halls.
“This is the bed where George Washington slept,” the tour guide said with reverence.
“Wait,” I whispered to my dad. “Where does George Washington sleep now?”
“Well, he’s dead. He died 200 years ago.”
What?! Nobody had told me George Washington was dead! This was appalling news. If he died 200 years ago, what did that matter to us now?
It’s funny. I think my question as a 5-year old kid is the same question today’s visitors to museums and cities and historic sites (rightfully) ask:
“Why does it matter?”
Our job as curators and technologists and educators is to answer that simple question.
We want to help give visitors an experience that widens their eyes, fills their hearts, and takes their breath away. We want to tell stories.
I’m excited to gather round this digital campfire with you. Please join in, speak up, and be welcomed into this gathering of kindred souls.