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Will the living history museum follow the path of James Madison’s Montpelier?
(American Conservative) Much of what separates the good historic sites from the bad is an approach of stewardship rather than social justice. Do the leadership, staff, donors, and partners of a historic site desire to educate citizens on their nation’s past, or transform visitors and the country through activism? How Colonial Williamsburg, the world’s largest living history museum, answers this question will determine its course.
Colonial Williamsburg has much to offer, and many of its tours are informative and even-handed. But some of its performances are interspersed with discordant notes. What is lost is a cohesive story of Colonial Williamsburg, of what makes it unique and its place in American history. To sustain itself as an educational, rather than an activist, historic site, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation needs to be careful of the company it keeps.
First, it must look to its staff. While many of the guides are history-lovers who give impartial tours, others have an activist bent. On occasion, character interpreters—craftsmen and tour guides dressed in colonial garb—engage visitors with emotional or political questions, seemingly wanting to confront people with America’s lamentable shortcomings…Wokeness at Colonial Williamsburg – The American Conservative