General Programming Formats to Consider:

  • Host an exhibit “teaser” event before the exhibit arrives to generate interest—possible events include lectures, films, or readings related to exhibit themes.
  • A community-wide program about the events in the exhibit, or one of the events, featuring a scholar presentation; oral history interviews; viewing and discussion of one or more of the NEH-selected documentaries; readings from oral histories, poems, fiction and nonfiction works about the event(s); music; displays of books and photographs; food; and related programs for children.
  • Oral history interviews with people in your community who have firsthand experience with the struggle for human and civil rights in the United States and other countries.
  • A photo exhibit displaying photos related to exhibit content and taken by local residents.
  • Find scholars in your community to contribute to a webinar. Record the presentation and post to your site’s website.
  • Create displays or related exhibits of books, photos, or other display items about exhibit-related topics.
  • Sponsor a One Book, One Community program during the exhibit using and exhibit-related book (see Resources for ideas). Consider including one title for adults, one for young adults, and one for children.
  • Host a panel presentation focused on exhibit-related themes.
  • Host a videoconference with a local or national museum, focused on exhibit-related content.
  • Present an intergenerational discussion of exhibition themes.
  • Host a film screening and scholar-led discussion (see Films for ideas).
  • Present a reading of excerpts from the Emancipation Proclamation or Dr. King’s famous speech. Ask your scholar to lead a discussion. 
  • Host a civic reflection/community dialogue program led by scholars and qualified presenters that focuses on current day civil rights issues. 
  • Sponsor a writing contest in which participants write their own speech, poem, song, etc. related to civil rights. Host an “open mic” at your site to share their works; or, with permission, publish works online to encourage further dialogue.
  • Create a public forum for discussion by making space available for written exhibition feedback. For example, pose a question to site visitors and make a bulletin board/wall space available for public feedback and comments, or encourage visitors to contribute their comments in an exhibit guestbook.