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  • By Lisa Brody

Student messages to end Birmingham bicentennial

Time capsules in the form of digital files from local students with the theme, “Message to the Future,” will conclude Birmingham's bicentennial celebration, with the capsule presentation at Birmingham's annual tree lighting and Winter Markt kickock at Shain Park on November 30.

To conclude the year-long celebration of the 200th anniversary of the founding of Birmingham, the Birmingham Museum will be launching a special commemorative bicentennial time capsule project focused on local students. The contents of the time capsule will include contributions from area students with the theme, “Message to the Future,” with the planned opening at Birmingham's 250th anniversary – and the students are invited to return for the ceremony in 2068.

The idea of the time capsule is to capture a “snapshot” of the present that will give future residents of Birmingham a unique perspective of what life was like in 2018, and what was on the minds of youth.

“Students will be able to send a message to themselves in the future if they like, or to family members, the people of Birmingham, or even to society in general,” said museum board chair Tina Krizanic. “The idea is for each student to consider what they want to say, and how they want to say it, whether it is a poem, an essay, a photo, a song lyric, or any other creative contribution that means something special to them and that they want to preserve for future access.”

To participate, students need to convert their messages into digital files of no more than 10 MB, such as a pdf or mp3, identify themselves by school, first name, and grade in the digital file, and send their submissions via email to the museum before December 31, 2018.

The museum will compile contributions onto a hard drive that will be placed into an airtight archival time capsule with additional documents and instructions. The capsule will be buried in Shain Park with an engraved granite marker identifying the location and the opening date of December 1, 2068.

The time capsule project complements the award-winning year-long bicentennial exhibit, “The People of Birmingham: 200 Years of Stories,” which is on display until January, 2019, at the Birmingham Museum.

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