What we Do
What exactly is Living History? Living History is a method in which historical events or a historic site are interpreted for the public. It uses live performers that wear historically accurate reproduction clothing and use reproduction tools, equipment, weapons, etc., to create an immersive historical environment in which the audience feels as if they have time traveled. The best living history performers use a "method acting" approach, in which they attempt to do everything as close as possible to how the person they are representing would have done.
The Institute strives to bring professional-grade Civil War living history experiences to the public. What exactly does "professional-grade" look like? We have taken inspiration from several museums who specialize in living history, like Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia. Many, if not most, Civil War battlefields, historic sites, and museums only have intermittent and small-scale living history programs. This creates a situation where most visitors to places like battlefields leave having seen an empty field or hillside, where they were told that great and terrible events occurred a long time ago, but without any true understanding. The Institute's mission is to bring Civil War historic sites to life by populating them with living, breathing people. The same goes for any place that wishes to create an event or exhibit to tell the story of the fight for our new birth of freedom. In short, we strive to make time travel a reality; not by going back in time, but by bringing the past into the present.