Springfield, IL (February 12, 2024) - The Lincoln Presidential Foundation (“Foundation”) and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site (“Lincoln Home”) announce the grand opening of Lincoln’s Springfield, the first-ever exhibit designed for a youth audience within the federal site. The exhibit, which is located inside the historic Corneau House across from Lincoln Home, explores the stories of six members of Lincoln’s community whose diverse life experiences illustrate the promise and potential of the American experiment.
Through original graphic narratives, vivid illustrations, and interactive features, this exhibit brings to life the stories of Henry Carrigan, William Donnegan, Charlotte Rodriguis De Souza, Jameson Jenkins, Francis Springer, and Mariah Vance. In addition to showcasing the stories of Lincoln's community members, the exhibit also highlights the history of the Corneau family, the namesake of the house. The exhibit was designed for audiences aged 10-14 while appealing to visitors of all ages. This exhibit is free and open to the public.
The Lincoln Presidential Foundation secured a lead gift from the M.G. Nelson Family Foundation, as well as additional individual and foundation gifts to make the exhibit a reality. The M.G. Nelson Family Foundation stated, "Our family was thrilled to support a youth exhibit at the Lincoln Home. We felt it would fill an important need by capturing the attention of older kids and encouraging them to be curious about history, the fascinating lives of Lincoln's neighbors, and what it was like to be alive during that time. Plus, the exhibit turned out to be so creative and engaging. We encourage everyone to bring their children and grandchildren to check it out."
The youth exhibit was the first major project Lincoln Presidential Foundation launched following the announcement of its new partnership with National Park Service at Lincoln Home. Lincoln Presidential Foundation engaged McCullough Creative for the exhibit design and production, and a diverse team of scholars and community stakeholders participated in a formative workshop early in the process. The exhibit project was completed in less than 18 months. “We are delighted to be able to bring this groundbreaking youth exhibit to Lincoln Home National Historic Site thanks to generous support from the Nelson Family and other generous donors,” said Erin Carlson Mast, Lincoln Presidential Foundation’s President & CEO. “We are already receiving great feedback on how the exhibit enriches the experience of Lincoln Home for young people and serves as a reminder of the many influences that surrounded President Lincoln, who is routinely ranked as one of the most influential U.S. presidents.”
Lincoln Home National Historic Site welcomes nearly 200,000 visitors annually, over 10,000 of whom are student group participants in the target audience. “For the first time in more than 50 years as a federal site, we now have an experience designed for students. It’s vibrant, it’s interactive, and it helps us tell a more complete story. It’s also our first new permanent exhibit in 20 years. We appreciate our partnership with Lincoln Presidential Foundation and are thrilled this is one example of more good things to come,” said Tim Good, Superintendent of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.
About the Lincoln Presidential Foundation
Established in 2000, the Lincoln Presidential Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity headquartered in Illinois. It is the only national foundation focused on increasing access to history, educational programs, exhibits, and sites highlighting the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. The Foundation does its work in cooperation and partnership with others locally, nationally, and globally. Its vision is a world where freedom and democracy flourish, inspired by the life and work of Abraham Lincoln. Learn more at lincolnpresidential.org.
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