McCormick Freedom Museum
LocationMcCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, Chicago, IL
The McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum is the nation’s first museum dedicated to the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. The museum houses over 25 interactive exhibits throughout the 10,000 square feet of exhibit space in Chicago’s Tribune Tower. From a 30-foot-long video wall to kiosks and installations in many diverse sizes and configurations, these unique media installations engage individuals and groups to make choices, express their opinions, explore their own limits, and compare views in compelling ways. Whether listening to banned music, learning about kids using T-shirts to protest at school, or reading about freedom in other countries, visitors can explore freedom in a relevant and unbiased context that allows them to reach their own conclusions.
Second Story created a suite of browser-based content management tools for the museum staff to easily update the content in many of these installations. The tools keep track of the polling data collected throughout the museum and facilitate the archiving of visitor-contributed video testimonials on what freedom means to them.
Press & AwardsAmerican Association of Museums Muse Awards, Honorable Mention, Interactive Kiosks, 2009
The 12151791 Sculpture Interactive is a good example of how to present a contemporary installation with an interactive kiosk, especially one such as this, which is a huge and ongoing project. This interactive features a critical statement about the meaning of freedom, quoted from many historical moments. With the help of the kiosk, the entire installation clearly presents the concept of the project and makes users understand the value and significance of freedom.“Making User-Generated Content Work,” Adobe Magazine, Tiffany Lee Brown, June 2007
Brad Johnson of Portland’s Second Story [has] succeeded in the evolving world of UGC,...working directly with audiences to create powerful, collaborative work.
One of Second Story’s many UGC-based museum projects, the exhibit...features nearly a dozen interactive installations that explore freedom of speech and the First Amendment. Visitors can listen to banned music, create their own personalized bill of rights, and hear America’s Founding Fathers as they struggle to draft the Constitution. But that’s just the beginning. They’re also invited to record their own stories about freedom of speech. These stories are monitored for content, and those that are approved become part of a larger archive, which also contains video clips from Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, past presidents, and other public figures. This ever-changing archive of videos is displayed outside the museum, on a large plasma screen above Chicago’s Michigan Avenue.
Second Story created an intuitive touch screen interface inside a recording booth. From there, visitors could record their own videos, which were instantly added to the live archive. Johnson chose to display the videos outside the museum,on a bustling city street, because he believes that successful UGC involves more than allowing users to make something interesting for themselves and their friends. ‘To me,’ he says, ‘the true power is when they can share their creations with the public.’American Association of Museums Muse Awards, Honorable Mention, Interpretive Interactive Installations, 2007
The installations have an impressively strong connection to the museum’s mission to promote critical thinking and appreciation of First Amendment rights. All of the interactives underscore this theme and strike a successful balance between high design and useful content. The most appealing interactive experiences are those that allow visitors to consider two sides of a debate, vote, and then see how other visitors have voted. The installations evidence a good mix of multimedia, including audio, video, text, and images. The developers did an outstanding job taking an intellectual and somewhat abstract topic and making it concrete and engaging.“New Museum Urges Visitors to Understand First Amendment Freedoms,” Travel News, Tara Burghart, April 23, 2006
The museum is filled with interactive displays, and visitors can create their own personalized Bill of Rights and listen to the Founding Fathers detail the behind-the-scenes struggles over drafting documents such as the Constitution...At one display station, visitors can don headphones and listen to snippets of songs that were challenged or banned over the decades, including the Everly Brothers’ Wake Up Little Susie, Olivia Newton-John’s Physical, and yes, 2 Live Crew’s Me So Horny.“New Chicago Museum Aims to Explain Freedom,” CBS 2 Chicago, April 2, 2006
The museum is filled with interactive displays. Visitors can create their own personalized Bill of Rights or listen to actors portraying the Founding Fathers detail the behind-the-scenes struggles over drafting documents like the Constitution.
© 2014 Second Story, Inc.
- Project Overview
- 12151791 Sculpture
- Add Your Voice
- Close to Home
- Draw the Line
- Express Yourself
- Foundations of American Freedom
- Freedom for All
- Freedom Information Center
- Freedom Museum Media Wall
- Influences on American Freedom
- Musical Hit List
- The Struggle Continues
- Voices of Freedom
- You Be the Judge