National Constitution Center Quarterly Events Calendar, April - June 2019

This spring, the National Constitution Center will open Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality, America’s first exhibit devoted to exploring the constitutional debates from the Civil War and Reconstruction.
April 3, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:               
Merissa Blum, 215-409-6645 [email protected]

 

 

NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER QUARTERLY EVENTS CALENDAR, APRIL – JUNE 2019

Philadelphia, PA (April 3, 2019) – This spring, the National Constitution Center will open Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality, America’s first exhibit devoted to exploring the constitutional debates from the Civil War and Reconstruction. Opening to the public on May 9, the exhibit will allow visitors of all ages to learn how the equality promised in the Declaration of Independence was finally inscribed in the Constitution by the Reconstruction Amendments. On June 19, the Center will open FOURTEEN, a moving theatrical performance that sheds new light on the Reconstruction era and the ratification of the 14th Amendment through primary sources.

The Center will host a variety of onsite educational programs and activities for families during upcoming civic holidays, including the annual Stripes and Stars Festival—Philadelphia’s celebration of the American flag and the U.S. Army—and the All-American Celebration throughout the week of Independence Day. The Center will also hold a series of Saturday Teacher Seminars, which welcome classroom teachers of grades 5, 8, 10, and 11 for full day programs including exhibit tours, modeled classroom activities, and training in civil dialogue techniques.

In classrooms across America, the Center continues to pilot its Classroom Exchange initiative, pairing classrooms from around the country to discuss big constitutional questions. Through curated educational resources including the Interactive Constitution, the Center provides teachers the tools to introduce constitutional education and civil dialogue, and facilitates these live classroom-to-classroom conversations by video.  

Through its popular America’s Town Hall program series, the Center continues to bring the leading conservative and liberal thought leaders together to explore the most important constitutional issues facing our country. Topics of the spring/summer 2019 lineup include presidential emergency powers, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and the biggest cases from the 2018-2019 Supreme Court term. Featured guests include former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, CNN legal analyst Joan Biskupic, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist George Will, former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, and more.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • All-American Celebration, Tuesday, July 2, and Wednesday, July 3 – Extended museum hours, 9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

April Events
Curator Talk – Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality
2 p.m., Monday, April 8
Free for National Constitution Center Members, but registration is required
Members can get an exclusive look at the development of the National Constitution Center’s upcoming exhibit Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality. Exhibit developers Sarah Winski and Elena Popchock share fascinating details about the planning, design, and artifacts that will make up this exhibit opening May 9.

1787 Society Reception with Preet Bharara
5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 10
Free for 1787 Society Members
Members of the 1787 Society are invited to a reception in the Bogle Chairman’s Room with special guest Preet Bharara in advance of his America’s Town Hall discussion, which is his only book tour stop in Philadelphia. 1787 Society donors will receive one complimentary copy of Bharara’s book Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law with each 1787 Society membership.

An Evening with Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara
6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 10
Free for 1787 Society Members, $20 Members, teachers, and students, $30 Non-Members
Preet Bharara, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and host of the podcast Stay Tuned with Preet, visits the National Constitution Center for his only book tour stop in Philadelphia. Bharara will join Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen for a wide-ranging conversation featuring anecdotes from Bharara’s time as a federal prosecutor, his thoughts on the justice system and constitutional governance today, and more, as described in his new book, Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law. CLE credit available.

April Classroom Exchanges
7 a.m. – 4 p.m., Thursday, April 11
Free, but registration is required
Teachers can register their classes to discuss big constitutional questions like “When does the First Amendment allow the government to limit free speech?” with a classroom elsewhere in the United States.

Saturday Teacher Seminar Series: The First Amendment
8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday, April 13
Free, but registration is required
Teacher Seminars take place on select Saturdays throughout the 2018-2019 school year. This full-day seminar will focus on the First Amendment. 

Spring Break
Regular museum hours, Monday, April 15 – Friday, April 26
Free with general admission
Celebrate spring break with the friends (and foes) of one of the National Constitution Center’s favorite founders: Alexander Hamilton. Visitors will learn more about Hamilton through the eyes of those who knew him best as the Center’s programming highlights a different founding figure each day. Visitors will get to know George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and more. Special programs include meet-and-greets with reenactors, exhibit tours, and artifact highlights. This spring break, visitors can also get a taste of what life was like in the 18th century with special period games, dress-up stations, craft activities, and more. Programming is presented in conjunction with the Center’s exhibit Hamilton: The Constitutional Clashes That Shaped a Nation, on display through December 2019.

Tax Day
Regular museum hours, Monday, April 15
Free with general admission
On Tax Day, visitors can learn about the history and significance of taxation and the role that Alexander Hamilton played in the creation of the American financial system. Visitors can also learn more about the Father of American Banking at interactive shows and make piggy banks and other crafts. As part of the Center’s spring break programming exploring Hamilton’s relationships with his friends (and foes), visitors can learn about Hamilton’s role as treasury secretary under one of his most famous friends, President George Washington. 

Joan Biskupic: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts
6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 18
Free for 1787 Society Members, $10 Members, teachers, and students, $18 Non-Members
Joan Biskupic, legal analyst for CNN and the author of highly-praised books on Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, and Sonia Sotomayor, unveils her new biography of John Roberts, the chief justice of the United States. Taking us inside the momentous legal decisions of his tenure, Biskupic explores what she calls Roberts’ divergent priorities: to follow his conservative conscience and to protect the Court’s institutional legitimacy. Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, moderates. CLE credit available. A book signing with Joan Biskupic will follow the program.

Earth Day
Regular museum hours, Monday, April 22
Free with general admission
As part of the Center’s Earth Day celebration, visitors can learn about green pioneers like President Teddy Roosevelt and First Lady Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson. Programming on the Center’s front lawn will include a gardening activity and 18th century games. Visitors will also be able to create crafts that provide helpful tips on going green.

1787 Society Reception with Jonathan Turley and Rich Lowry
5:30 p.m., Monday, April 22
Free for 1787 Society Members
Members of the 1787 Society are invited to a reception in the Bogle Chairman’s Room with special guests Jonathan Turley and Rich Lowry prior to the evening America’s Town Hall debate on the topic: Can the President Use Emergency Powers to Build the Wall? 

For Debate: Can the President Use Emergency Powers to Build the Wall?
6:30 p.m., Monday, April 22
Free for 1787 Society Members, $10 Members, teachers, and students, $18 Non-Members
This year, President Trump issued a presidential proclamation declaring a national emergency to fund the construction of a wall along the southern border. National legal commentator Jonathan Turley and National Review editor Rich Lowry participate in a timely debate examining the constitutional legal arguments for and against Trump’s recent emergency declaration. Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, moderates. CLE credit available. Sponsored by a generous grant from the Charles Koch Foundation.

May Events
May Classroom Exchanges
Free, but registration is required
Teachers can register their classes to discuss big constitutional questions with a classroom elsewhere in the United States. May Classroom Exchanges will be held every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during the month. Each week, these exchanges will explore a different First Amendment topic such as freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and press, and freedom of assembly and petition.

Law Day
Regular museum hours, Wednesday, May 1
Free with general admission
On Law Day, the Center celebrates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visitors can learn about the creation of the Bill of Rights with special tours, and then participate in a trivia game that unpacks the different freedoms protected by the First Amendment.

A Dangerous Idea: The History of Eugenics in America
6:30 – 8 p.m., Thursday, May 2
Free for 1787 Society Members, $10 Members, teachers, and students, $18 Non-Members
Exactly 92 years after the infamous Buck v. Bell decision, the Center presents a partial screening of “A Dangerous Idea: Eugenics, Genetics and the American Dream”—an award-winning documentary exploring the legal history of the eugenics movement in the United States. Following the screening, the film’s executive producer, writer, and attorney Andrew Kimbrell, acclaimed author and journalist Daniel Okrent, and law and bioethics scholars Paul Lombardo and Dorothy Roberts discuss the dark history of eugenics and the Constitution. CLE credit available. A DVD signing with Andrew Kimbrell and book signing with Daniel Okrent will follow the program.

Press Preview for Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality
4 p.m., Tuesday, May 7
Free for press
Members of the media are invited to a press preview featuring opening remarks by Jeffrey Rosen, followed by a guided tour of Civil War and Reconstruction. The press preview will include short gallery performances of FOURTEEN: A Theatrical Performance, and will conclude with a special reception and ribbon cutting. Press are encouraged to stay for the evening conversation with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., whose documentary for PBS, Reconstruction: After the Civil War, will premiere April 9 and 16. The opening events on May 7 are open to the press and invitation-only. Press interested in attending should contact Merissa Blum at 215-409-6645 or [email protected]

Exclusive Members-Only Opening Week Tours of Civil War and Reconstruction
1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 8
Free for National Constitution Center Members, but registration is required
National Constitution Center Members can be among the first to tour the Center’s new 3,000 square foot permanent exhibit, Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality. Museum educators will give three exclusive Members-only guided tours of the exhibit the day before it opens to the public.  

NEW EXHIBIT: Public Opening and Opening Weekend
Regular museum hours, Thursday, May 9 – Sunday, May 12
Free with general admission
Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality
, the first exhibit in America devoted to exploring the constitutional debates from the Civil War and Reconstruction, opens to the public. The National Constitution Center will celebrate the opening of its newest exhibit gallery on Thursday, May 9, with special curator-led tours, as well as scholarly talks exploring why the Civil War and Reconstruction are vital to the Constitution’s history. Opening weekend, Friday, May 10, through Sunday, May 12, programming will include “Artifact Spotlight Talks,” where education staff will discuss some of the most interesting pieces of the exhibit. Additional family-friendly opening weekend programming will include a Civil War reenactment, dress-up and photo opportunities, meet-and-greets with “historic figures,” and more.

Presidents Adams and the Problem of Democracy
12 p.m., Thursday, May 9
Free for Members, $10 Non-Members, $5 Teachers and students
Historians Nancy Isenberg and Andrew Burstein examine the parallels between the politics and personalities of father-son Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams as described in their new book, The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality. The book highlights the Adamses’ prophetic warnings about the dangers of partisanship, demagoguery, and the politics of personality. Lana Ulrich, senior director of content at the National Constitution Center, moderates. A book signing with Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg will follow the program.

Saturday Teacher Seminar Series: Civil War and Reconstruction
8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday, May 11
Free, but registration is required
Teacher Seminars take place on select Saturdays throughout the 2018-2019 school year. This full-day seminar will focus on Civil War and Reconstruction.

Members-Only After Hours Tour of Civil War and Reconstruction
5 p.m., Monday, May 20
Free for National Constitution Center Members, but registration is required
Members can visit the Center for an after-hours tour of the new Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality exhibit prior to the Women in the Civil War America’s Town Hall program. Museum educators will lead a guided tour of this exhibit featuring over 100 artifacts, including original copies of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, Dred Scott’s signed petition for freedom, and a pike purchased by John Brown for an armed raid to free enslaved people.

Women and the Civil War: The Untold Stories
6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Monday, May 20
Free for 1787 Society Members, $10 Members, $18 Teachers and students, $28 Non-Members
Noted historians, including Catherine Clinton, Thavolia Glymph, and Kate Masur, explore the untold stories of the women abolitionists and suffragists of the Civil War and Reconstruction and how their work influenced constitutional change. Following the moderated conversation from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., guests will have access to tour the new Civil War and Reconstruction exhibit from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Presented in conjunction with the Center’s exhibit, Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality, and presented in partnership with Vision 2020’s Women 100: A Celebration of American Women, a national initiative headquartered at Drexel University.

Memorial Day Weekend
Regular museum hours, Saturday, May 25 – Monday, May 27
Free with general admission
The National Constitution Center will honor America’s fallen military heroes over Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 25, through Monday, May 27. Visitors can learn about how the Memorial Day holiday originated as “Decoration Day,” an occasion to honor soldiers who gave their lives during the American Civil War. Presented in conjunction with the Center’s newest Civil War and Reconstruction exhibit, programming will examine what life was like for Civil War soldiers and take a look at some items they would have carried with them during the war. Family-friendly programs and activities will also include flag etiquette and flag folding workshops, Thank-A-Vet postcards, arts and craft activities, and interactive shows.

June Events
Members-Only Guided Tour of Civil War and Reconstruction
11 a.m., Sunday, June 9
Free for National Constitution Center Members, but registration is required
National Constitution Center Members can enjoy an exclusive guided tour of Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality. A museum educator will introduce the key figures central to the era—from Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to John Bingham and Harriet Tubman—and discuss how the equality promised in the Declaration of Independence was finally inscribed in the Constitution by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

June Classroom Exchanges
7 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday, June 11
Free, but registration is required
Teachers can register their classes to discuss big constitutional questions with classrooms elsewhere in the United States.

Stripes and Stars Festival
Regular museum hours, Friday, June 14
Free with general admission
From star-spangled banners to five-star generals, Philadelphia celebrates the shared birthday of two of our country’s greatest institutions—the American flag and the U.S. Army. The Stripes and Stars Festival takes place annually on June 14 at locations throughout Independence National Historical Park and Historic Philadelphia, including Independence Hall, Betsy Ross House, and the National Constitution Center. Events include flag raising ceremonies, a patriotic parade, giant flag folding demonstrations, and a moving naturalization ceremony.

Disability Pride Celebration
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Constitution Center, after 12 p.m. at Dilworth Plaza, Saturday, June 15
Free
On Saturday, June 15, the National Constitution Center will participate in Philadelphia’s city-wide Disability Pride Celebration. Activities will begin on the Center’s front lawn at 10 a.m. with a flag raising ceremony, arts and craft activities, and speeches. At 11 a.m. the Disability Pride Parade kicks off from Independence Mall and continues down Market Street to Dilworth Plaza, where the celebration continues with additional performances and special guest speakers. For more information and a full agenda visit https://www.facebook.com/DisabilityPridePhiladelphia.

Premiere of FOURTEEN: A Theatrical Performance
10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 19
Free with general admission, group reservations recommended
For a limited production run beginning on June 19, visitors can experience FOURTEEN, a moving theatrical performance that sheds new light on the Reconstruction era and the ratification of the 14th Amendment. Through dramatic interpretation of original texts, such as Frederick Douglass’s open letter “To My Old Master,” the 30-minute performance will bring to life the leaders, influential figures, and everyday Americans who were central to the era. This production has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Members Preview of FOURTEEN: A Theatrical Performance
11:30 a.m., Thursday, June 20
Free for National Constitution Center Members, but registration is required
National Constitution Center Members can enjoy a special performance of the moving theatrical performance FOURTEEN.

George Will: The Conservative Sensibility
7 p.m., Thursday, June 20
Free for 1787 Society Members, $10 Members, teachers, and students, $18 Non-Members
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist George Will returns to the Center for a conversation about his new book, The Conservative Sensibility, described as a monumental new reflection on American conservatism. Will examines how the founders’ belief in natural rights articulated in the Declaration of Independence and protected by the Constitution gave birth to a great American political tradition now under threat—one based on limited government, religious freedom, and belief in human virtue and dignity. Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, moderates. A book signing with George Will will follow the program. Sponsored by a generous grant from the Charles Koch Foundation.

Sensory-Friendly Sunday
Regular museum hours, Sunday, June 23
Free with general admission
Sensory-Friendly Sundays at the National Constitution Center incorporate a variety of programs and learning techniques developed for visitors with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorders, intellectual disabilities, and other neurodevelopmental disabilities into the everyday visitor experience. Learn more here.

Save the Date – July Events
All-American Celebration
Extended museum hours, 9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 2, and Wednesday, July 3
Regular museum hours, Monday, July 1, and Thursday, July 4
Free with general admission
The National Constitution Center will offer an array of patriotic festivities over Independence Week, Monday, July 1, through Thursday, July 4, in celebration of freedom and America’s independence. Visitors can participate in a variety of family-friendly programs and activities, including flag etiquette and flag folding workshops, arts and craft activities, and interactive shows.

2019 Annual Supreme Court Review
12 – 2 p.m., Tuesday, July 9
Free for 1787 Society Members, $10 Members, teachers, and students, $20 Non-Members
Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, legal scholars Erwin Chemerinsky and Frederick Lawrence, and Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick, examine the Supreme Court’s 2018-2019 term, which includes significant cases regarding religious displays, the death penalty, partisan gerrymandering, the census, and more. Melissa Garlick, civil rights national counsel for the Anti-Defamation League, moderates. CLE credit available. Presented in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League.

 

Please note: All programs are subject to change. Please call 215-409-6700 or visit constitutioncenter.org for the most up-to-date program information.

 

Ticket Information
General Admission:
Adults $14.50; Youth (6-18) $11; Students w/ID and Seniors $13. Members, active military personnel, and children ages 5 and under are free. Admission for 15 or more is $7.50 for student and youth groups; $9 for adult and senior groups. *Visit constitutioncenter.org for the most up-to-date ticket information.

The National Constitution Center is located at 525 Arch Street on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall. The Center is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

 

 

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About the National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia brings together people of all ages and perspectives, across America and around the world, to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. A private, nonprofit organization, the Center serves as America’s leading platform for constitutional education and debate, fulfilling its congressional charter “to disseminate information about the U.S. Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.” As the Museum of We the People, the Center brings the Constitution to life for visitors of all ages through interactive programs and exhibits. As America’s Town Hall, the Center brings the leading conservative and liberal thought leaders together to debate the Constitution on all media platforms. As a Headquarters for Civic Education, the Center delivers the best educational programs and online resources that inspire citizens and engage all Americans in learning about the U.S. Constitution. For more information, call 215-409-6700 or visit constitutioncenter.org.

 

 

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