November 8, 2006
CW's Productions, Publications and Learning Ventures Division participates in international museum exchange
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation continues its participation in the International Partnerships among Museums (IPAM) program with the arrival in Williamsburg of André Delisle, executive director and curator of the Montreal-based Musée du Château Ramezay.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the IPAM program enables American museums to advance their missions by carrying out collaborative projects with partner institutions abroad. Museums are selected for the award based on a mutually beneficial, collaborative project proposal submitted jointly by the institutions. A staff member from each partner museum spends five weeks working on-site at the other partner museum. In July and August, Frances Burroughs, director of operations for educational programs in Colonial Williamsburg’s productions, publications and learning ventures division, spent five weeks at the Château Ramezay Museum in Montréal, Québec.
Delisle, an archaeologist, has an extensive background in prehistoric excavations, including Bau de l’Aubesier (35,000–250,000 B.C.) in Provence, France, and Blanc-Sablon, Québec (Arctic prehistory). He holds master’s degrees in tourism management and museum studies, and a graduate diploma in the management of cultural organizations.
Delisle’s visit coincides with the launch of the 2006–2007 Electronic Field Trip season. Delisle is working with Burroughs and other staff members to develop collaborative education outreach programs. The goal of the collaboration, proposed jointly by Burroughs and Delisle, is to “develop a multimedia educational project called Revolutionary Choices.”
“The United States and Canada, both deeply affected by the American Revolutionary War, developed in very different ways based on the choices of citizens during the Revolution,” said Burroughs and Delisle. “We hope to illustrate the early development of our nations – from colonies to countries – during the American Revolutionary War. Echoes of the Revolution affected both nations: people and governments in British Québec and the United States reacted to the same influences with very different outcomes. Colonists had to make choices on complex issues and make great personal sacrifices and risks for their beliefs.”
The Château Ramezay was the headquarters of the Continental army in 1775 – 1776. The American Congress sent delegates, including Benjamin Franklin, to the Château in 1776. “The Château is uniquely related to the American Revolution,” Delisle said, adding, “The Musée offers visitors, teachers, and schoolchildren a perspective of the war, and of the events leading up to it, that is not available in Virginia.”
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to build bridges with our museum partners in Canada and investigate the universal idea of citizenship,” said Richard McCluney, the Royce R. and Kathryn M. Baker vice president of productions, publications and learning ventures.
“Both museums interpret shared historical and revolutionary periods, although from different perspectives.”