With quarantines and self-distancing temporarily being a large part of Montanans’ lives, the Montana Historical Society wants to hear from you.
MHS has developed a survey and created a challenge to not only help pass the time but also help collect information for future generations and historians.
First, the survey. COVID-19 is affecting people all over the world, and the Historical Society wants to know how both current and former Montanans are impacted. We have two surveys, one for students and one for the general public. The surveys include about a dozen questions, including what precautions are being taken, how COVID-19 is affecting jobs, and what’s the atmosphere in their communities.
The surveys include a link to upload photos, artwork, poems, videos or other media that will inform future generations about the COVID-19 experience.
“Judging from the materials collected during previous times of national crises, we can’t stress enough the importance of recording history as it’s being made,” said MHS Director Bruce Whittenberg. “The more people who fill out the survey will help future generations fully understand the stories of the people and places of Montana during this worldwide pandemic.”
Next, the Montana Historical Society’s “Coronavirus Quarantine Challenge” is a riff off a Getty Museum effort in which they asked patrons to re-create works of art in their collection. MHS is posting two dozen photos of art from its collections and asking people to re-create them using family members who are self-quarantining together or common household items. The Montana Historical Society is then asking people to post photos of their re-creations to the MHS Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest sites, or email them to email@example.com.
“We thought it would be a fun diversion for individuals and families who are spending a lot of time at home these days,” said Kirby Lambert, the MHS Outreach and Interpretation Program manager. “The results we’ve received so far are pretty creative.”
He added that if enough people participate, the re-creations could become part of an exhibit in the future.
To learn more about the survey and the challenge, contact Eve Byron, MHS public information officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 406/444-6843.