Denver History Museum features Carl Howelsen, ‘Me and You’ interactive exhibit
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — If you’re hitting the Denver area this season, an interesting new exhibit lets viewers walk through Colorado history and helps them see how their own traits and personalities match up with historical figures.
The exhibit, inside the History Colorado Center at 1200 Broadway in Denver, also allows visitors to nominate someone they believe deserves to win a Colorado Governor’s Citizenship medal, which recognizes residents who have impacted their communities.
Steamboat Springs’ Carl Howelsen is one of 101 Coloradans featured in “What’s Your Story,” a new exhibit that shows how people have used their powers for good to impact Colorado over the years. But even more interesting is how the visitor finds themselves a part of the history exhibit throughout their tour.
“There’s an interactive digital quiz to find out what your superpower is and it matches you with someone from history,” said Julie Peterson, public historian and exhibit developer of History Colorado. Howelsen, who helped establish ski jumping and skiing in Colorado, could be one of the historical figures people find themselves matched with.
“They are matched with a squad of three Coloradans who share that superpower. The seven superpowers in ‘What’s Your Story?’ are courage, determination, passion, creativity, curiosity, empathy and resilience,” said Peterson.
The History Colorado Center at 1200 Broadway in Denver is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Closes early Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at 3 p.m.
Organizers also had middle and high schoolers in mind while creating the exhibit.
While a lot of the exhibit is interactive, especially with video, it features artifacts including a prototype for testing lead in drinking water first created by Gitanjali Rao when she was only 11 years old attending school in Highlands Ranch, and an 1894 letter from Susan B. Anthony praising Colorado for giving women the right to vote 19 years before the Federal Government adopted the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.
“As visitors enter the gallery, they encounter a photo mural of a few iconic Colorado landscapes,” Peterson explained. “An introductory video shares the idea of ‘The Impact Journey’ — the steps that each one of us takes on the path to making an impact, just like generations of Coloradans before us.”
Visitors also have an opportunity to make their own video and make a statement about an issue they care about and it will be shown on three giant screens at the end of the gallery alongside other Coloradans who have made an impact.
And, if that’s not cool enough, there’s a tunnel full of posters marking moments in Colorado history and visitors can make their own digital poster with a kiosk and share it in the museum and through social media.
Folks should have plenty of time to hit the new exhibit at History Colorado Center in Denver since they expect to keep it going for several years.
Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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