Traveling exhibit coming to Garst Museum


GREENVILLE — Garst Museum and Fort GreeneVille Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) are teaming up to bring an exciting exhibit to the museum. This event will kick off the county’s America 250! Celebration. This is the first of many planned American 250! events over the next few years.

The American Revolution Experience Traveling Exhibition is on tour and Fort GreeneVille DAR and the museum will host the exhibit from April 27 through May 29 at Garst Museum, 205 N. Broadway, Greenville. The exhibit is free to view and will be in the Lowell Thomas Meeting Room and available during Garst Museum hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regular admission rates apply for individuals wishing to tour the museum.

This innovative Revolutionary War Exhibition is collaborative project of the American Battlefield Trust and the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The exhibit is scheduled to tour in 2024 and 2025 and will hit select cities throughout the United States.

Fort GreeneVille Chapter DAR is fortunate to sponsor and have the opportunity along with the Garst Museum to host this highly sought-after exhibit. Although it is early in its two-year tour, The American Revolution Experience has already announced they have received more booking requests than they can presently accommodate.

The American Revolution Experience invites visitors to consider the choice faced by members of the revolutionary generation as tensions mounted in the 1770s: Would these ordinary citizens risk their lives and livelihoods in pursuit of liberty? Or would they remain loyal subjects of the British crown, coming into conflict with neighbors and family? The exhibit surfaces diverse viewpoints and experiences, touching on the journeys — both literal and figurative — of Patriots and Loyalists, men and women, Black and Native populations and even international allies.

Rather than focusing only on generals and famous statesmen, it introduces audiences to drummer boys, military mapmakers and other ordinary people who were impacted by global events.

Fort GreeneVille Chapter DAR has prepared a handout with the names of the American Revolutionary Patriots buried in Darke County that will be available to visitors.

The traveling exhibit was spurred by the success of the American Revolution Experience, which was launched online in its first digital-only iteration during the summer of 2022. The website rapidly received acclaim and received a Bronze Award in the Education, Art, & Culture division of the second annual Anthem Awards, an initiative of the Webby Awards celebrating purpose and mission-driven work. It was also a finalist in the “People’s Choice” category of the Webbys themselves.

“The American Revolution would not have happened without the decisions, sacrifices, and valor of ordinary people,” said DAR President General Pamela Rouse Wright. “DAR is honored to have collaborated with the American Battlefield Trust on this initiative to highlight some of our Patriots and their roles in the founding of this great country. We are thrilled for people in communities across the country to learn more about these individuals.”

The traveling exhibit includes 12 panels highlighting thematic connections between profiled individuals and three interactive kiosks that connect to the full digital biographies, provide documentary context on the Revolutionary War and offer information on how to visit the places tied to these individuals today. Both online and on-site, the American Revolution Experience features custom illustrations by South Carolina-based artist Dale Watson. The exhibit also draws from documents and objects in DAR’s collection, as well as the Trust’s industry leading digital interpretation resources.

“Independence may have been declared in Philadelphia by the Declaration’s 56 signers, but it was hard-won on the battlefields we protect by the thousands of Patriot soldiers from whom today’s Daughters trace descent,” said Trust President David Duncan. “Together, our organizations bear witness to the fact that we are not so far removed from those impactful events, that there are meaningful ways to bridge those 250 years.”

In addition to hosting the exhibit, Garst Museum and Fort GreeneVille Dar will also host two free lectures. The first will coincide with the opening of the exhibit on April 27, 2 p.m.

Steve Kaplan, President of Ohio Society of Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), will be bringing the Richard Montgomery Chapter Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard, and will present the program. Kaplan, a Sidney native, joined SAR in 2014 and currently chairs the state’s Patriotic Outreach Committee and the Training Taskforce. He was recently assigned to the National Committee of Chapter of Officer Training and tasked with creating officer training for training material for the National Society. Kaplan said he was honored to be asked to provide an address for the American Revolution Experience.

A second Garst Museum Lecture Series event will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2 p.m., with John and Lady Karen Burkett taking visitors back in time to the American colonies. The historical reenactors will be portraying John and Abigail Adams and will share their pre-revolutionary life and captivating letters.

Garst Museum and Fort GreeneVille DAR invite all to come and see this free exhibit. Youth, grades K-12, are highly encouraged to attend and enter into a drawing to win great prizes. Visit the museum for more information.

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