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Makesmith projects are making new connections and demonstrating history’s relevance

Recently our Program Manager Kelsey Van Voorst shared a story about a guest encounter on July 6 that demonstrates how history nurtures personal and collective identity, and its relevance in connecting people’s skills and memories.

“I was helping a gentleman make bracelets out of copper tubing using different kinds of hammers and a file. He told me that the bracelets were for his granddaughters. He took his time and made each bracelet unique with care. I guided him throughout the process, but for the most part, he was doing pretty well on his own.

After he finished, he shook my hand and thanked me.  As he left, his wife (who had been sitting on a bench not too far away) came up to me and said, "Thank you, this was really big for him. He has Parkinson's and struggles to use tools. It was good to see him pick up a hammer again."

Wow, do you have goose bumps like me? History is so powerful and the foundation for maintaining strong, vibrant communities.  This experience is a great example of how people discover or in this instance rediscovers their place in time through stories of their families, communities, and nations. I believe that we can redefine how people view and use museums like Conner Prairie, and this is just a small step along the way.