Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee Unveils Specific Exhibits to be Included in PoliticalFest

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention today announced specifics of each PoliticalFest exhibit, showcasing American government and politics since the nation’s birth and inclusive of the diversity that has helped make up the country’s rich history. PoliticalFest, a festival celebrating United States history, politics, and the road to the White House, will highlight the contributions made by important figures and movements since the nation’s founding. These exhibits will be on display at each of the seven PoliticalFest locations and will create a fun, inclusive, and educational experience for residents, delegates and members of the media. PoliticalFest will run July 22-27th, open 10am-6pm daily.

“These exhibits embody the Host Committee’s commitment to inclusion throughout its Convention planning efforts and reflect the diversity of our nation and its history,” said former Governor Ed Rendell, Chairman of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee. “We are excited to provide this unique opportunity for residents and Convention visitors to better understand our democratic process, and PoliticalFest will do just that.”

The Host Committee contracted LeapStarr Productions, a diverse-, woman- owned event production, design and fabrication company, to produce PoliticalFest. The LeapStarr team has been integral in the collection and design of the diverse, historical assets included in PoliticalFest.

A comprehensive list of all exhibits and programs that will take place at PoliticalFest can be found below:

 National Constitution Center (525 Arch Street)

Theme: Headed to the White House

The National Constitution Center will serve as the hub for PoliticalFest, and will be the only brick and mortar location where tickets to PoliticalFest will be sold.


  • Headed to the White Houseis the Center’s feature exhibit that focuses on the presidential election process.
  • Political Theater, a series of programs including:
    • PoliticalFeud
    • PoliticalTrivia
    • One-on-one interviews with actors who have played presidents on-screen, led by Melissa Fitzgerald of “The West Wing”
    • Political Speech Screenings:
      • Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” Speech
      • President Barack Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” Speech
      • President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Speech
      • President Ronald Reagan “Tear Down This Wall” Speech
    • C-SPAN Campaign 2016 Bus, located outside the Constitution Center
    • An installation from Google’s Cultural Institute through kiosks that showcase Philadelphia and American culture and history.

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Hall F (1101 Arch Street)

Theme: Politics and You!


  • C-SPAN’s The American Presidents exhibit
    ●C-SPAN’s Electoral Boards
    ●      Oval Office Replica, presented by Facebook
    ●      Photo walls featuring key political features and their impacts on society
    ·       “Voting Through Time” exhibit, showing voting booths from the past, present and future.
    ●      Air Force One Fuselage replica
    ●      “I Am Democracy Photo Mosaic” for which guests will take individual photos that will be transformed into a larger digital mosaic of an American flag.
    ·       Memorabilia Store, including Host Committee merchandise from local designers like Project Runway winner Dom Streater and apparel favorite Duke & Winston, as well as rare collector’s items.
    ●      “Future Leaders Fun Zone” featuring games and other activities for children

National Liberty Museum (312 Chestnut Street)

Theme: First Families


  • “First Ladies: Influence & Image” video, featuring stories of America’s 45 First Ladies.
  • A show-stopping display of featured dresses worn by First Ladies going back to Martha Washington.
  • White House China dating back to George Washington.
  • An exclusive photo exhibit highlighting First Families, provided by National Geographic.
  • “Larger Than Life” photo wall, featuring key political figures and their impact on society.
  • Johnston & Murphy Presidential Footwear Collection, highlighting 12 former presidents who wore Johnston & Murphy shoes.
  • The Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement’s kids program will offer a special, interactive program for K-12 students encouraging civic engagement and explaining the process of running for and winning the Presidency.

Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent (15 S. 7th Street)

Theme: Philadelphia and the Presidency


  • Original election coverage from the Philadelphia Tribune, the nation’s oldest and the Philadelphia region’s largest African-American daily publication, featuring iconic front pages and landmark political moments from the paper’s extensive coverage of national politics.
  • Philadelphia Gay News interviews with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign.
  • Philadelphia Memorabilia Perspective featuring pieces from local collectors that highlight Philadelphia’s political convention history.
  • Short documentary of local collectors’ historical artifacts described in their own words.
  • Whistle Stop Philadelphia! will provide guests with a photo-opp with a life-size train replica, like those that were used during whistle stop campaign tours.

Library Company of Philadelphia (1314 Locust Street)

Theme: Presidential Archives


  • Presidential Libraries
  • Exhibit featuring writings, photographs and artifacts from the museum’s own collection, including:
    • A life mask of George Washington;
    • A death mask of Abraham Lincoln;
    • Rare books, graphics, and manuscripts about the founding of the nation;
    • Women in American politics;
    • 19th-century African-American political conventions.

Historical Society of Philadelphia (1300 Locust Street)

Theme: Founding Documents


  • “Behind The Ballot,” an interactive exhibit provided by the city of Birmingham, Alabama, highlighting the Civil Rights Act and the Voters Rights Act, as well as a lookback at the events that took place in 1963.
  • Proof of Declaration of Independence
  • Samples of Articles of Confederation
  • Draft of the Constitution of the United States
  • “We the People” collection, including:
    • Constitution of Women’s Suffrage Association with a note by Susan B. Anthony
    • Lithograph of the Emancipation Proclamation
    • Map of part of Bucks County released by the Indians to the “Proprietaries of Pensilvania” in September 1737

 Heritage Center at the Union League (140 S. Broad Street)

Theme: Political Conventions in Philadelphia


  • Sweep the Country: Political Conventions in Philadelphia,an exhibit that tells the stories of the 11 conventions held in Philadelphia.


PoliticalFest will be made possible through the generosity of sponsors of and partners to the Host Committee, as listed below:

  • C-SPAN is the media sponsor providing content, exhibits and an educational bus;
  • University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government is sponsoring Political Theater;
  • Facebook is sponsoring the replica of the Oval Office;
  • Google is providing the Google Cultural Institute Activation;
  • Drexel University is a community sponsor underwriting tickets for members of local Boys & Girls Clubs to attend PoliticalFest free of charge;
  • The Philadelphia Tribune is a partner providing a photo archive of iconic front pages and articles of the paper’s election coverage;
  • Philadelphia Gay News is a partner providing articles of interviews with President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton;
  • National Geographic is a partner providing a photo exhibit highlighting photos of first families at the National Liberty Museum.

Tickets for PoliticalFest may be purchased in person at the National Constitution Center and on the Host Committee’s website,

The Democratic National Convention will take place July 25-28th in Philadelphia.


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