"Follow The North Star" Program Takes Participants On Journey Through Underground Railroad
FISHERS, Ind. – The nationally acclaimed Follow the North Star program at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park returns this April. The program immerses participants in the life of a fugitive slave as they live through one of the most compelling periods in Indiana history. This powerful and interactive glimpse into Indiana’s past affects guests in ways that reading a book or watching a movie about it cannot.
During the program, small groups of participants take on the roles of fugitive slaves traveling along the Underground Railroad, risking everything for freedom. Every moment is filled with uncertainty, with new twists along the way. Playing the role of a fugitive slave, participants encounter an illegal slave sale, along with a variety of characters like a belligerent Southerner, a reluctantly helpful farm wife, a slave hunter, a Quaker family and a free black family. Through authentic interaction with costumed characters, participants learn to depend on each other.
The program offers a powerful diversity training tool and effective educational experience for groups, individuals and schools. Follow the North Star is the 2003 winner of the Award for Excellence in Programming from the American Association of Museums and has won an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History. Since 1998, more than 48,000 people have participated in this award-winning program. Follow the North Star runs nightly, April 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 and 24, from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. The program lasts 1 ½ hours and groups start every 15 minutes. Tickets are $19 for non-members and $16 for members. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 317.776.6006.
Follow the North Star is not for everyone. This program takes place outdoors in all weather conditions, and participants walk approximately one mile on rough terrain. The emotional effect of the program is intense, as participants are treated as slaves, being told to keep their eyes down and not to speak unless spoken to. Because of the nature of the experience, participants must be 12 years or older. Follow the North Star is made possible through support from Fifth Third Bank.
To view or download a short video of the program or for additional information, click here.
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, created by Eli Lilly in 1934, is Indiana’s only Smithsonian Affiliate. Families of today engage, explore and discover what it was like to live and play in Indiana’s past. Every visit is a unique adventure that provides an authentic look into the history that shapes us today. During January, February and March, Conner Prairie’s indoor areas are open. Visit http://www.connerprairie.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Hours-And-Admission.aspx for dates, times and ticket prices. On March 27, 2010, Conner Prairie’s five themed historic areas, including 1859 Balloon Voyage, will re-open for the outdoor season. For additional information about Conner Prairie visit www.connerprairie.org or call 317.776.6006 or 800.966.1836. Connect with Conner Prairie on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/connerprairie, Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/people/connerprairie/, YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/ConnerPrairie and Twitter at http://twitter.com/connerprairie/.
Media Contact: Angela Tuell, Public Relations Manager
(Office) 317.214.4732, (Cell) 410.430.9518, Tuell@connerprairie.org