Alabama’s history is rich and full, spanning over two centuries of growth, change and cultural development. To honor its bicentennial, the Alabama Humanities Foundation, with the support of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and Alabama Department of Archives and History, has developed and presented an innovative and immersive exhibit – Making Alabama. This blog post provides a closer look at the exhibit, its impact, and the communities it’s engaging.

Making Alabama – A Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit

The Making Alabama exhibit is a nostalgic journey through the state’s past. It embodies Alabama’s evolution from its formative years to its present stance and is set to visit all 67 counties across the state. The exhibit pairs local community activities, storyboards, festivals, vintage photos, and artifacts with a series of artistic panels.

These panels illustrate significant periods in Alabama’s history and the personalities who played revered roles in shaping the state. Participants have the opportunity to interact with tablets at each station, augmenting their knowledge about different historical epochs.

A Celebration of Historical Significance and Community Engagement

Ann Rudd, President of the Dale County Council Arts and Humanities, lauds the display as both engaging and attractive. Featuring freestanding large kiosks adorned with illustrations showcasing the symbols and famous personalities of Alabama, coupled with touchscreen computers narrating stories from the 1700s to current times, the exhibit provides a comprehensive view of Alabama’s history.

“It just is a feel-good opportunity to mix, mingle and learn where we come from and how Alabama is progressing and changing,” adds Rudd.

The Impact of Interactive Exhibitions

Visitors from various counties shared their impressions and experiences of the exhibit, reinforcing its worth and profound impact. An attendee from Dothan described the exhibit as a chance to learn not only about the vista of history but also about personal origins and wider societal structures.

Nurturing Community Involvement

Celebrating history isn’t confined to museums and lecture halls. Local communities have managed to add a unique twist, offering memorable activities that supplement the exhibition. For example, in Cleburne County, visitors could indulge in ‘Making Alabama’ cookies and relish a wine tasting featuring county wines.

Sandy Bynum, director of the Elba Chamber of Commerce, seized the opportunity to encourage locals and their children to join in and appreciate their heritage.

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

While the Making Alabama exhibit delivers an immersive understanding of Alabama’s past, it doesn’t end there. The organizers envision it as a catalyst for future conversations about the state’s past and its future direction.


Making Alabama has indeed created a lasting impression on all its viewers and continues to inspire dialogue regarding the state’s history and its hopes for the future. As the journey through time and Alabama carries on, the excitement and anticipation for the exhibit remain steady and firm.

Are you all set to learn more about Alabama’s history? We would love to hear more about your community and its link with the bicentennial. Don’t hesitate to share your plans or events relating to this celebration with us. After all, history isn’t just about the past – it’s about the community we form today and the improvements we can make for a brighter tomorrow.

“Making Alabama” is more than just a celebration of the past. It reflects commitment to the education and enrichment of our communities, and the desire to shape a future that recognizes and builds upon our historical roots.