The Master Docent Series Presents 2014 Commemorations, Love Stories, and Music

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The Frederick Historic Sites Consortium presents the annual Master Docent Series on February 14 and 15, 2014 in Frederick, Maryland. The program kicks off with free program Friday evening, “Voices of the Civil War,” and is followed by a day of workshops on history and related topics on Saturday.

Voices of the Civil War

The Frederick Historic Sites Consortium will present “Voices of the Civil War,” a free program of music and theater at 7 p.m. on February 14, 2014.

The Frederick Historic Sites Consortium presents the annual Master Docent Series on February 14 and 15, 2014 on the campus of Frederick Community College, 7932 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, Maryland. The program kicks off with free program Friday evening, “Voices of the Civil War,” and is followed by a day of workshops on history and related topics on Saturday. While the workshop portion of the program is geared towards local museum docents, anyone who loves history is invited to participate.

More information online.

Voices of the Civil War
In recognition of the 150th anniversaries of the Battle of Monocacy and Emancipation in Maryland, the Frederick Historic Sites Consortium will present “Voices of the Civil War,” a free program of music and theater at 7 p.m. on February 14, 2014. The event will take place in the JBK Theater of Frederick Community College at 7932 Opossumtown Pike in Frederick, Maryland. The program is suitable for all ages. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and early arrival is recommended. This performance is made possible in part by a grant from the Frederick Arts Council and by the support of Plamondon Hospitality Partners.

“Voices of the Civil War” blends music, dance, spoken word and theater with costumed ensembles. This multi-disciplinary program will include selections relevant to Confederate General Jubal Earlys’ 1864 raid that included the Battle of Monocacy (the “battle that saved Washington” and also relate thematically to Emancipation in Maryland. In addition to the music, actors will portray Abraham Lincoln and his secretary, John Nicolay, using primary source material from Lincoln’s writing, speeches and letters. The evening will present a unique history lesson with an engaging, interactive style.

“Voices of the Civil War” is the opening program for the 2014 Master Docent Series workshops, which continue on Saturday, February 15, with additional history topics and training especially for local museum and historic site volunteers. It is also a complementary program supporting the 2014 Frederick Reads program, which features the theme of music.

Master Docent Series
The Frederick Historic Sites Consortium presents the annual Master Docent Series workshops on February 15, 2014 on the campus of Frederick Community College. While geared towards local museum docents, anyone who loves history is invited to participate. The Master Docent Series workshops will focus on upcoming milestone anniversaries, including the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the 150th anniversary of Emancipation in Maryland, and the War of 1812 Bicentennial. Additional sessions related serving history visitors more effectively will complete the program.

Program highlights include:

“Washington Saved! An Overview of Frederick County’s Experience in 1864” will open the Program at 9:15 a.m., in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Monocacy, known as the “Battle that Saved Washington.” This session will review Confederate General Jubal Early’s 1864 campaign, life on the home front 150 years ago, and the aftermath of battle as played out at local hospital sites and cemeteries. The speakers, Ranger Brett Spaulding of Monocacy National Battlefield and Curator Carrie Blough of the Museum of Frederick County History, will also share highlights of commemoration plans at the battlefield, and a major exhibition to open at the museum in June, entitled “Huzzah For Liberty! Frederick County’s Civil War of 1864.”

Another Sesquicentennial anniversary session will be “The End of Slavery in Maryland,” presented by Gail Stephens, author of Shadow of Shiloh: Major General Lew Wallace in the Civil War. Ms. Stephens is a volunteer at Monocacy National Battlefield, Chairman of the Board of the Western Maryland Interpretive Association, a member of the Board of Directors of the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and program chairman of the Frederick County Civil War Roundtable. Her session will look at the situation of Maryland slaves who were not freed until November 1864. Participants will learn about the struggle to bring slavery to an end in a border state and the role of General Lew Wallace, who commanded Union forces at the battle of Monocacy, in Maryland emancipation.

The War of 1812 Bicentennial anniversary has given to rise to a focus on local connections to that conflict. “Home of the Brave: War of 1812 Veterans at Mt. Olivet Cemetery” will share research into more than 100 War of 1812 veterans buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. This session will share research that is bringing new life to many of these characters from Frederick’s past. As a bonus, the program will also include a preview of plans underway for the Bicentennial celebration of Star Spangled Banner, written by Key in September 2014. Chris Haugh, Byways and Special Projects Manager for the Tourism Council of Frederick County will lead this program, joined by researchers from the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution.

Sharing history with the visiting public takes more than just knowing facts and the stories of the past. The Master Docent Series workshops also include training in techniques to engage the public. In a session titled, “Engaging an Inter-generational Audience,” Allison Wickens, Director of Education for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum will discuss how history museums inspire visitors to share memories, while creating new ones, allowing all generations to participate. Yet, keeping the attention of a preschooler, a preteen sibling, Mom or Dad, and perhaps grandparents, too, is not easy. This session will offer tools to encourage cross-generational participation.

In another session, Smithsonian education specialist Elizabeth Deines of the American Art Museum will address, “Serving Visitors with Autism.” Serving the needs of all visitors, including those with autism, or those on the “autism spectrum” is a goal of all museums. This session will help museum docents discover ways to provide people with autism with extraordinary museum experiences. Tips for serving kids with autism in school groups will be included. Ms. Dienesserves on the Advisory Committee for “Morning at the Museum,” a project of the Smithsonian Institution's Accessibility Program designed to help children with cognitive and sensory processing disabilities and their families enjoy a visit to the Smithsonian Museums.

In the final program of the day, at 2:45 p.m., with a nod to Valentine’s weekend, “Love Letters from the Civil War,” will be offered by Monocacy National Battlefield Ranger Barbara Justice. Many soldiers, as they marched off to face the enemy, left behind a wife or sweetheart, and to them they would compose sweet, poignant, and occasionally funny letters that give life and personality to the participants in this great national conflict. Among the stories to be shared is that of Private George W. Boatwright, of the 12th Georgia Light Artillery, and his correspondence with his sweetheart, Martha “Mattie” Jane Burrows. Boatwright perished after the Battle of Monocacy and is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

To Attend:
To attend the Saturday workshop sessions, participants must register in advance or at the door. The all-day fee for Frederick County residents is $40, including lunch. Early registration is encouraged. However, registration will be accepted at the door as space allows.

ABOUT - The Master Docent Series is a program of the Frederick Historic Sites Consortium. Support is also provided by the Tourism Council of Frederick County, Inc.

For a copy of the Master Docent Series Workshops brochure, including a registration form, stop by the Frederick Visitor Center at 151 S. East Street in Frederick, Maryland. A downloadable version is also available.

Questions about the Master Docent Series may be directed to Elizabeth Scott Shatto, Tourism Council of Frederick County, Consortium Coordinator, at (301) 600-4042, or lshatto(at)fredco-md(dot)net.

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Liz Shatto
@tourfrederickmd
since: 01/2009
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