DAD’S HOME!
DISCOVER THE REAL GEORGE WASHINGTON:
NEW VIEWS FROM MOUNT VERNON
AT THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER
PLUS: THE CENTER LAUNCHES ITS FIRST-EVER KIDS FREE SUMMER!
Philadelphia, PA (July 1, 2011) – George Washington returned to the Philadelphia area today to participate in a special ribbon-cutting ceremony for his new exhibition, Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon¸ which opened this morning at the National Constitution Center and runs through September 5, 2011. During the event, he declared a “Kids Free Summer” at the Center: free admission for up to four children (ages 12 and under) with one paying adult – a great way for families to save a pocketful of “Washingtons” this summer!
“We want to give more families the chance to visit the National Constitution Center. Bringing George Washington back to Philadelphia and letting kids go for free is an unbeatable combination that will bring both tourists and Philadelphia natives through the door,” said National Constitution Center President and CEO David Eisner. “This summer, George Washington will remind us again of who we are as a people and a nation.”
In celebration of the exhibition’s opening weekend, the Center will offer extended hours, remaining open to the public until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2, and opening early at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 3.  Visitors will have the opportunity to join in a variety of patriotic activities throughout the weekend in connection with Independence Day, including Revolutionary War re-enactments, a colonial homestead, interactive shows and demonstrations, craft activities, and more – all with a George Washington twist!  Discover the Real George Washington gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at our
nation’s first president through his achievements, legacies, family, intellectual pursuits,
and entrepreneurial ventures.

The 6,500-square-foot exhibition is organized into eleven sections, each focusing on a specific aspect of Washington’s life, including:
– An Ambitious Youth
– A Dauntless Warrior
– A Troubled Slaveholder
– Uneasy in the Mouth
– Beloved Hero
Nearly 100 objects from Mount Vernon’s world-class collection, including full-scale
figures of Washington, architectural models, decorative and fine art items, maps, manuscripts, and paintings reveal the personal side of Washington and uncover his roles as an entrepreneur, farmer, and businessman.

Highlights include:
– An original set of Washington’s dentures
– Several original works of art, including Gilbert Stuart’s classic Washington portrait

Three full-size, life-like figures of Washington based on the latest forensic
research showing him:
o As a teenaged, red-haired surveyor from Virginia just prior to the French
and Indian War
o As a Revolutionary War hero atop his horse, Blueskin, in a snow-covered
forest at Valley Forge
o During his presidential inauguration ceremony at Federal Hall in New
York City
o The Washington family Bible Original pieces of Martha Washington’s jewelry

“In Philadelphia, George Washington organized the building blocks of our nation when
he was president, and he set a remarkable number of precedents, both politically and
socially,” said James C. Rees, president of Historic Mount Vernon. “To have our exhibition just yards from where he lived and worked is a big deal – we’re absolutely thrilled.”  Visitors also will have the opportunity to view videos by The History Channel, focusing on religion, slavery, espionage, Washington’s dentures, his state-of-the-art gristmill, and the creation of the life-like Washington figures seen in the exhibition.  In addition, interactive touch screens and immersive environments will bring stories to life for visitors of all ages. Guests can sit on a full-size replica of Washington’s pew at Pohick Church, as well as explore detailed models of Fort Necessity and Washington’s Mansion and estate, gristmill, and 16-sided treading barn.  Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon was organized by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named.
Admission to Discover the Real George Washington is $15 for adults and $14 for seniors (ages 65 and up) and students. Children ages 12 and under and active military are FREE. Group rates also are available. Admission to the Center’s main exhibition, The Story of We the People, including the award-winning theater production Freedom Rising, is included. iPod audio tours cost an additional $5. For ticket information, call 215.409.6700 or visit www.constitutioncenter.org.
6abc/WPVI-TV, the ABC-owned station serving the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys, is the official media partner of Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon. 6abc is the home of Action News – the #1 local news brand in the tri-state area, and the undisputed news leader for the past 35 years. 6abc.com, the official website of Action News, also is the #1 local TV news website in the region.  The exhibition was designed by MFM Design, Inc. and fabricated by Explus, Inc. The forensic figures of George Washington were created by StudioEIS.  Visit www.DiscoverGeorgeWashington.org.
To coincide with Discover the Real George Washington and the President’s House at Independence National Historical Park, the Center also opened today The President’s House: Their Untold Stories in Quilts in Posterity Hall. This collection of art quilts celebrates the humanity, dignity, and courage of the nine enslaved persons owned by George and Martha Washington at the President’s House.  Created by a multiracial and multicultural group of both internationally acclaimed and novice quilt artists, the quilts are intended to stimulate dialogue about slavery and freedom in the paradigm of democracy. Admission to The President’s House: Their Untold Stories in Quilts is FREE with regular museum admission. Additional quilts will be on display at the Independence Visitor Center and the African American Museum in Philadelphia.  Washington’s accomplishments as a politician and military leader took him throughout the Philadelphia countryside, and his presence is still felt today. As a complement to the exhibitions, the Center has joined together with several regional partners to create a smartphone application and a special map and brochure featuring locations in the greater Philadelphia area that have significant connections to George Washington’s story. For the complete “Summer of Washington” experience, Washington enthusiasts are encouraged to download the GEOrge Tracker, a web-based application for iPhone, iPad and Android, which allows users to see where Washington slept, dined, spoke, met, and planned his adventures throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding countryside. They also are encouraged to visit sites such as Independence National Historical Park, Valley Forge National Historical Park, Washington Crossing Historic Park, President’s House Site, Brandywine Battle Historic Site, and Historic Germantown, among others, using the special map and brochure as their guide “Summer of Washington” maps will be available at each partner location. Other partners in this initiative are the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau, the City of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, Historic Philadelphia, Inc., Independence National Historical Park, the Independence Visitor Center, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Visit Bucks County.

About Mount Vernon:

Since 1860, over 80 million visitors have made George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens the most popular historic home in America. Through thought-provoking tours, entertaining events, and stimulating educational programs on the Estate and in classrooms across the nation, Mount Vernon strives to preserve George Washington’s place in history as “First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of
His Countrymen.” Mount Vernon is owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, America’s oldest national preservation organization, founded in 1853. A picturesque drive to the southern end of the scenic George Washington Memorial Parkway, Mount Vernon is located just 16 miles from the nation’s capital. For more information, visit www.MountVernon.org.

About the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation:

The Donald W Reynolds foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded by the late media entrepreneur for whom it was named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, the Reynolds Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. For more information, visit www.DWReynolds.org.

About the National Constitution Center:

The National Constitution Center, located at 525 Arch St. on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the ideas and values it represents. The Center serves as a museum, an education center, and a forum for debate on constitutional issues. The museum dramatically tells the story of the Constitution from Revolutionary times to the present through more than 100 interactive, multimedia exhibits, film, photographs, text, sculpture and artifacts, and features a powerful, award-winning theatrical performance, Freedom Rising. The Center also houses the Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach, which serves as the hub for national constitutional education. Also, as a nonpartisan forum for constitutional discourse, the Center presents – without endorsement – programs that contain diverse viewpoints on a broad range of issues. For more information, call 215.409.6700 or visit www.constitutioncenter.org.

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