Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. -George Santayana
This has been an intense week. On Saturday I attended a photo research program at History Colorado Center on a date with my husband to hang out in a library and learn about resources. Did you know that the public has access to their online photo and archive collection? Their in-house one too. This resource is quite brilliant for us social media, genealogical research, and general curiosity types.
The museum is really cool and like they typically do they let us roam after our program. We ran upstairs to the hilarious AWKWARD FAMILY PHOTOS exhibit. It is a room with goofy family images that we laughed out at not to laugh at others but because so many of us can relate to the stories and people in them. We found ourselves in giggle cycles with other guests in the gallery at the time.
There was also a great exhibit about cameras, images, and portraits
We then went next door to the El Movimiento exhibit that has been up for a while looking at local and national Chicano activism. It really stirred echoes of what has been building around this election week and roles in activism.
On the second floor there were three exhibits: 1. Living West, which contains the Dust Bowl simulator which is a documentary and ride experience and I highly recommend people check it out. The exhibit looks at resource use in our state and engages people to figure out best use solutions with water, transport, historical artifacts, and our economy.
2. Denver A to Z that highlights some of our notable accomplishments and 3. Colorado Stories which contains fur trading, mining, internment camps… I got as far as the Colorado internment camp section and had to leave. The stress of the week got to me. Here is the link to the online exhibit on Japanese internment if you want some experience from home. Yes, we interned a lot of children.
We by-passed the first floor, we usually spend a lot of time there with our kids. We went straight to the basement for the Searching for HOME exhibit looking at homelessness. I know, I know, it was already a rough day but I rarely come to this museum without my kids so I wanted to see it.
My family experienced homelessness for a while due to unfortunate circumstances. I really relate to this exhibit and appreciate its aim to humanize a very serious problem facing Denver and other areas during this economic time.
At that point I was a bit wiped but felt good about sticking it through to look at what I had seen and process the exhibits with just me and my husband.
Here is the thing. History Colorado Center contains a good deal of knowledge about our past and this knowledge is useful as we face and constructively work on our present. If I came to the museum with our kids I most likely would not have lingered at the internment area of the exhibit as long as I did because my guys are three and six. We would have done the fun, silly, educational stuff and maybe one heavy topic to explore in a way that is appropriate for them. The museum even has scalable guides and information for content you feel is appropriate for your visit.
The museum is a valuable asset if you are going for entertainment, education, or to process and really dig deep about controversial topics we are currently dealing with.
I have visited a number of times and have not become a member yet. My husband and I have decided that this will be our next institutional membership. As we were talking to the front desk we learned the family and dual memberships include TWO Georgetown Loop Railroad passes… hello, those are worth $30 each on their own. An $85 annual family membership including $60 in railroad passes is a no brainer! My husband and I teased they should lead off with that information in their membership promotion.
Visit the museum on your own, as part of a program, or just jump into the sweetheart deal for the membership especially with the Santa trains getting on the Georgetown Loop calendar. History is not to be forgotten when as a people we are in desperate need for guidance now.