Announcing 'Exploring Human Origins' Traveling Exhibition Opportunity

ALA's Public Programs Office, in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) Human Origins Program, is now accepting applications for the traveling exhibition Exploring Human Origins.

Based on a popular Smithsonian exhibition, the traveling exhibition seeks to engage a wide spectrum of audiences in the complex field of human evolution research.

The opportunity is open to public libraries. Nineteen sites will be selected to host the 40-panel, 1,200-square-foot exhibition for four weeks each between April 2015 and April 2017. (Read the full guidelines and apply online.)

Through panels, interactive kiosks, hands-on displays, and videos, Exploring Human Origins invites audiences to explore milestones in the evolutionary journey of becoming human — from walking upright, creating technology and eating new foods, to brain enlargement and the development of symbolic language and complex societies — milestones that define the unique position of humans in the history of life.

In addition to the traveling exhibition and all shipping costs, selected sites will receive a $500 programming support grant; presentation of three or four programs by members of the Human Origins Program and its Broader Social Impacts Committee; and a variety of educational materials and support.

Sites will be required to host several related public programs, including an exhibition opening and community conversations. Sites must also convene a panel of community members to serve as advisors for developing local programs.

The traveling exhibition is based on the Smithsonian’s What Does It Mean to Be Human?, which opened in 2010; over 20 million people have visited the Hall of Human Origins exhibition since its opening.

The exhibition is offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History Human Origins Program. It is made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

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