Civil Rights Museum eyes renovations

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The National Civil Rights Museum wants to spend millions of dollars on changes and the museum said it will not cost taxpayers a penny.

"They walk onto this courtyard and they feel that they are thrown back vicariously in time to experience what it must have been like," museum president Beverly Robertson said.
That experience is forever captured on the walls, exhibits, rooms, and hallways of the National Civil Rights Museum, offering a time capsule on the struggle for civil rights and equality.

"The story of the Fayette county effort for voting rights that resulted in many black residents there being forced to live in tents during that period of time," Barbara Andrews of the National Civil Rights Museum said.  
Now the preserved history will get an upgrade. After 17 years, the National Civil Rights Museum, through corporate and private donors, will look at more than $10 million in renovations.
"Incorporating more interactive to draw people into that era to draw people into the actual movement," Gwen Harmon of the National Civil Rights Museum.

Interactive technology is certainly part of the renovation process. But museum administrators want to expand the square footage of the facility to enhance the experience and update the history at the museum.
"The Lorraine is history, so the front will never change. That can never...that is part of it but when you walk inside and you go to an exhibit you have to have more information given to you," Harmon said.
Next Tuesday, four firms will present concepts on how the new museum could change. It would be the first change since its opening in 1991.

"It's a world class museum and we want to make it even more so that," Robertson said.

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