Posted on February 15, 2012
Exhibits and programs are the most essential components of museums and Hall of Fames. When combined, the result is entertainment, education and most the humanitarian message. Museum exhibit organization is a complex issue and this portion of the Master Plan will focus on giving the reader a conceptual idea of the future physical complex.
To showcase the Hall of Fame’s Inductees by sharing their life experiences and compelling stories of humanitarian efforts for the sole purpose of inspiring the visitors to assist in making the world a better place. To develop and interpret what it means to be a champion, both on and off the field of play, illustrating that sport can build character and help young people to make positive life choices.
Take Home Messages
The first step in interpretation is to identify important take home messages. Exhibits and programs will be implemented so that visitors to the Hall of Fame Museum will go away with positive messages!
A Place of Honor and Celebration
Located in Easton and easily accessible from much traveled Interstates 80 and 78, the NHSCA High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum will celebrate the fun, excitement, and character-building qualities of athletics, while honoring individuals who exemplify the best qualities of sportsmanship and humanitarianism.
The Hall of Fame Museum will attract a wide variety of sports participants and fans from throughout the Northeast, and across America. Families, teams and school groups will be key components of the High School Sports Hall of Fame’s audience. Exhibits and programs will be aimed at athletes, and fans of all ages, both genders, and all levels of ability and performance. Coaches and parents of young athletes will find the High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum to be an ideal destination. A dynamic program of activities will attract a multi-age audience to the Sports Education Center.
Tourists will include the Hall of Fame Museum in their sightseeing plans. The High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum will offer tailored programs for bus tours, conventioneers, and other target groups. An active, four-season program of rental uses is anticipated. Sport skills and technique clinics, in-service training, lectures, film series, and more will make the High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum a valued center of community life. The Hall of fame will also be hosting corporate meetings, banquets, private parties, and weddings.
Central to the High School Sports Hall of Fame’s identity will be the active programming of the Sports Education Center. Here, individual athletes, teams, coaches, trainers, and other sports participants will meet Inductees and other guests from the world of sports, for useful, down-to-earth dialogue, instruction and discussion.
The Sports Education Center will make the High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum into a regional center for sports- related programs and meetings. While the primary audience for Sports Education Center programs will be local and regional, it will draw national attention. Presentations by Inductees and other athletes will be taped and edited for inclusion in the Center’s resource library. Over time, this will become an unmatched resource that will enable athletes, coaches, and fans to consult one-of-a-kind programs on a range of sports topics. More than 30,000 high school sports videos will be featured in the museum. They include “Before They Were Pros,” “Hometown Heroes,” etc.
With its unique focus on the beneficial and ethical dimensions of sports, the High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum is national in scope, and differs from all other Halls of Fames. Untouched by political boundaries, questions of amateur vs. professional, categories of sport, or limitations of gender or age, this Hall of Fame Museum will have broad appeal and will build bridges with other sports organizations.
Within its local and regional context, the High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum will be viewed as part of Easton’s lineup of educational and cultural attractions. The Crayola Factory Museum, Historical Society Museum, and Canal Museum are located in the historic district of Easton. The museums presently generate more than 325,000 visitors each year. The plan is to offer a combination pass so that visitors can enjoy a diversity of an industrial, cultural, educational, and athletic experience. Even people with little or no interest in sports may be attracted to the High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum by its unusually important focus. More than 150 million people live within a 6-hour radius of Easton.
As visitors travel through Pennsylvania on Interstates 80 and 78, well placed billboards preview the fun and fascination they’ll find at the High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum. Entering the parking garage, visitors know they have some to a special place. The Courtyard of Champions will immediately attract their attention. It will literally be a “star walk” commemorating championship teams, individual players and coaches. Clusters of bricks and monuments will deliver the message of the heritage in sports.
In the welcome Lobby, visitors will be awe-inspired with pictures, sculptures, signs and an Orientation Theater preparing visitors to get the most from their visit.
As they leave the Orientation Theater, visitors choose between two different pathways. Some groups and individuals will move first to programs and activities in the Sports Education Center, while others will proceed directly to the Hall of Honor and the Hall of Fame’s Champions Gallery.
In the Sports Education Center, athletes of all ages find a lively array of sports education activities. The Center’s offerings help participants learn about sports, while reflecting on connections between sports excellence and life choices. A well-equipped classroom provides a comfortable learning space where students and teachers can meet to prepare for their visit, or debrief before they leave for home. A constantly growing Resource Library allows all visitors to access videotaped programs that capture the wisdom and experience of the Center’s diverse presenters.
Visitors will proceed to the core exhibit, but first pass through a forecourt where Arthur Ashe’s legacy will be on display. His message, “There are lots of winners, but few champions” will set the tone for the balance of exhibit themes.
Appropriately, the first room will be the brightly lit, ceremonially appointed Hall of Honor, celebrating the lives and accomplishments of the Hall of Fame’s inductees. Names of all inductees are inscribed on a roll of honor, and details on their accomplishments in sports and humanitarian work are accessible in an adjacent display. Visitors will be inspired and filled with awe and respect for the people who are making a difference.
From the Hall of Fame’s entry gallery, the Hall of Honor, visitors enter the interpretive theme gallery, appropriately named The Making of a Champion. Here, visitors will understand what it takes to be a champion. A series of venues will each speak to an aspect of the theme. Each exhibit or venue will consist of the Museum Designer’s interpretation of a scholarly book written on a subject pertinent to developing a champion. Books already selected are: “Be Like Mike” written about Michael Jordan, “They Call Me Coach”, written by John Wooden, “Values of the Game,” written by Bill Bradley,“ How to Raise an MVP”, written by David Robinson’s mother, “The Best You Can Be”, written by Rafer Johnson, Olympic decathlete
As visitors leave the “Champions” theme gallery, they encounter two farewell video messages which places an exclamation point on all they have seen and heard, 1) Michael Jordan sharing his hopes and dreams for his children and giving parting advice to athletes, parents and coaches, and 2) In his last days, Arthur Ashe wrote a moving letter to his daughter, Camera, challenging her to continue the Ashe legacy. Museum designers will take the letter and make it into an interpretive exhibit that will impact visitors with an experience never to be forgotten.
The scene is then set for the visit to the major attraction, The Wheaties Hologram Theater of Champions. Here the great athletes who have made the most profound impact upon sports and culture will come alive in a Disney-like production. Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens and Babe Didrikson Zaharias will be present in sculpture on stage to talk about the importance of sport and its influence upon their lives. Bob Costas will serve as the moderator, and for the visitors it will be a treat to hear the actual voices of these sports legends as they relate their thoughts to the “Champions” theme. The visit to the Hall is nearly completed, but one more important stop is necessary . . . touring the room that pays tribute to the “Sponsor” winners. On display will be an authentic “Sponsor Award” Trophy that honors humanitarian efforts by top high school athletes. These champions are more than All-Americans, but role models for us all.
History of High School Sports Exhibit
Dave Krider is a high school sports historian that has been recognized throughout the country for his contribution to high school sports. He is also the author of several books written about high school athletics. There will be a 50-year History of a High School Sports. The exhibit will be broken down by sport review each year that will be narrated & text that can be read. There will be videos of Dave as he reviews each decade. The section will also include a private collection of memorabilia where exhibit content will be rotated every 6 months.
Before departing the High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum, visitors have an opportunity to visit rooms showcasing individual award recipients as humanitarians, leaders, as well as people of good character; The “Sponsor Award” the “Sponsor Award” and the “Sponsor Community Service Award” recipients. Together, they demonstrate that any one of us can be a humanitarian, leader, and a person of good character.
They return to the Lobby to visit the gift shop and depart with a hopeful, upbeat feeling that the time spent visiting the High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum was worth it all. It may be a worn-out cliché, but a sign over the door could well read, “Through These Doors Pass Tomorrow’s Champions”.
Finally, visitors will pause to reflect in a contemplative space, hung with beautiful photos of athletes in action and at rest. A web site allows them to link up with regional and even national organizations that are working to make a difference in their communities. Words to Live By is an interactive module where young visitors receive an encouraging letter about how to do their best, complete with a personal salutation, and the signature of the inductee they’ve selected.