When the pandemic closed its doors in March, Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR) knew it was essential to find a way to keep its downtown galleries accessible to the general public.
With the technological and creative help of an Atlanta production company, the Center has launched a virtual tour of some of its most impactful exhibits.
“We want people to walk away with the story about how the American Civil Rights Movement has inspired global human rights movements around the world, and its relevance to the civil and human rights struggles we are facing today,” Kurt Reynolds, Development Coordinator at the Center, told Hypepotamus.
Utilizing 360-degree filming from Atlanta-based One Stop Productions, users can download the Center’s new app on iPhone or Android devices and begin an immersive educational experience. Atlanta broadcast journalist Karyn Greer narrates the entire experience as users virtually “walk” through the Center.
“There are other virtual tours that may have a stopping point or an interactive screen. But this is really one of the first fully 360-degree, moving tours of its kind,” said Reynolds. “We want to be able to get that experience to as many people as possible, especially when we are in a place in our country where human and civil rights are really in jeopardy for a lot of people in our society.”
For Reynolds, one of the most moving parts of the tour is when guests enter a simulation of a Freedom Riders bus. Through the app, “you can actually pivot and turn your camera all around to see different components of the bus and the seating. Inside the bus itself, there is a video showing some of the violent acts that occurred.”
Reynolds said that the final iteration of the virtual tour came after One Stop Productions started filming and wanted to expand upon the initial storyboard and outline. This has helped guests explore even more themes and people highlighted throughout the Center.
While the doors to the physical downtown location reopened with a limited capacity in September, Reynolds believes that the virtual tour will play an important role in the future of the Center. Reynolds said there are plans to create audience-specific tours to help different age groups learn more.
Alongside the virtual tour, the Center also launched the Campaign for Equal Dignity, which aims to bring experts and resources together to discuss civil unrest, police brutality, voter suppression, and other large-scale societal problems that have been center stage in 2020.