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Cherokee in 20 Objects

a community-curated exhibit to tell the stories of our shared past

What is Cherokee in 20 Objects?

History Cherokee invited residents of Cherokee County to participate in our community-curated initiative to tell the story of our shared past through our Cherokee in 20 Objects survey. This collaborative initiative allowed for History Cherokee to create a virtual exhibition that tells the history—past to present—of Cherokee County using only 20 objects recommended to us by the best experts, our community members.

Based on general themes and subjects, History Cherokee sought recommendations and suggestions that our community believed best represented Cherokee County throughout time. The responses received played an imperative role in inspiring final selections to be presented in the online exhibit, Cherokee in 20 Objects.

“The inspiration of this online exhibition is based on other collaboratively curated collections such as the book WWII in 100 Objects by Dr. Allan R. Millett, the exhibitions Atlanta in 50 Objects at Atlanta History Center and People’s Choice: A Community-Curated Exhibition at the Gibbes Museum of Art,” stated Jessica Gordy, Marketing and Communications Manager of History Cherokee. “We are hopeful Cherokee in 20 Objects will engage our community and produce a dynamic and innovative exhibition that will be virtually accessible to anyone interested in learning about our county’s history.”

The parameters were broad: an object could be a person, a place, an institution, or an idea. We received dozens of submissions from the community.

The choice for creating this exhibit virtually was an opportunity for History Cherokee to provide our community access to the past while the organization is temporarily closed to the public for the next six to eight months. This past June, History Cherokee broke ground for the new Cherokee County History Center. The History Center will serve as a community resource allowing residents and visitors alike to connect the past to the present through expanded exhibition space highlighting the unique history of Cherokee County. The History Center will also include a research library and classroom space for educational programming as History Cherokee establishes itself as a regional cultural attraction. The Cherokee County History Center is slated to open to the public in spring 2022.

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