Today, we announced the details for PoliticalFest, a one-of-a-kind festival celebrating American political history, government and the road to the White House. This Convention week (July 22nd-27th) event will be open to delegates and residents at seven participating locations in Philadelphia.
PoliticalFest is a series of exhibits, each with a theme related to American politics, government, and history. Designated locations will feature different displays and attractions, including the campaign trail, Philadelphia & the Presidency, a media zone, political entertainment, and more. There will also be a staging area for live performances, political game competitions, and panel discussions. These exhibits and events will create a family-friendly experience for Philly residents and visitors, and we encourage people of all ages, backgrounds and interests to check it out during its six day run time.
The seven participating locations and their themes are:
National Constitution Center (525 Arch Street)
Theme: Headed to the White House
The National Constitution Center will serve as the hub of PoliticalFest. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore the Center’s feature exhibition “Headed to the White House,” as well as a mix of activities and Political Theater, which will include political feud, political trivia, interviews and panel discussions. The Center’s permanent exhibits will also be incorporated into PoliticalFest, and C-SPAN’s educational bus will be featured outside the Center.
Pennsylvania Convention Center, Hall F (1101 Arch Street)
Theme: Politics and You!
Hall F of the Pennsylvania Convention Center will offer a variety of interactive experiences, including an Air Force One fuselage, an Oval Office replica, political fun and games for children in an area called Future Leaders Zone, and more.
National Liberty Museum (321 Chestnut Street)
Theme: First Families
The National Liberty Museum will be home to items and images from the presidential First Families, featuring the museum’s collection of White House china spanning back to George Washington’s time as president, special programs provided by the Rendell Center for Civic Engagement, dresses from First Ladies, and First Family photo exhibits.
Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent (15 S. 7th Street)
Theme: Philadelphia & the Presidency
The Philadelphia History Museum will showcase Philadelphia’s history with the presidency, including a photo opportunity for attendees to be a part of a whistle stop campaign tour.
The Philadelphia Library Company (1314 Locust Street)
Theme: Presidential Archives
The Philadelphia Library Company will feature writings, photographs and artifacts from its personal collection as well as from a variety of partner organizations.
Historical Society of Pennsylvania (1300 Locust Street)
Theme: Founding Documents
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania will give attendees an opportunity to see their treasured collection of some of the nation’s founding documents.
Heritage Center at the Union League (140 S. Broad Street)
Theme: Political Conventions in Philadelphia
The Heritage Center’s exhibit takes a deep dive into the 11 political conventions held in Philadelphia between 1848 and 2000.
Exhibits will be open at each venue daily from 10am-6pm. The venues will be connected by a dedicated PHLASH loop that ticketholders can hop on and off of as they make their way through the different exhibits. Many PoliticalFest locations are nearby each other, and ticketholders will be encouraged to walk between many of the sites.
C-SPAN will have several interactive educational exhibits at PoliticalFest. Attendees will have the opportunity to tour C-SPAN’s Campaign 2016 Bus, learn about campaign coverage from the network’s “Road to the White House” program, and see their American Presidents Exhibit, which brings to life the nation’s 43 presidents through one-of-a-kind oil portraits along with biographies, photographs, and interactive video and audio recordings. Attendees will also be able to brush up on history and presidential elections through large educational walls where people can learn more about the 2016 Electoral College, a historical timeline of presidents’ lives and service, and an in-depth look at key events from C-SPAN’s convention coverage since 1984.
University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government is the official sponsor of the entertainment portion of PoliticalFest, called Political Theater, which will take place inside the National Constitution Center’s auditorium. Stay tuned for a schedule of Political Theater events; we’ll be sharing that on our website soon.
Don’t forget to buy your tickets!