Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum ‘Time Machine’ chosen for national award

Posted: Monday, 25 February 2008

MONTGOMERY—An exhibit at Troy University’s Rosa Parks Library and Museum will receive an award from a worldwide trade association which recognizes excellence in the entertainment industry.

The TEA (formerly known at the Themed Entertainment Association) has chosen the “Cleveland Avenue Time Machine” in the Children’s Wing of the Rosa Parks Library and Museum for its highest honor, a Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement. The Time Machine will be honored in the area of “Exhibit on a Limited Budget.” The 14th Annual Thea Awards Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, March 8 at a black-tie event at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA.

“This is outstanding recognition for Troy University and the Rosa Parks Library and Museum,” said Ray White, Vice Chancellor of Troy University’s Montgomery Campus, who served as the project manager for the building of the museum and children’s wing. “Thea Awards have been presented to attractions such as Disneyland, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, so we are proud to join that distinguished company of honorees.”

The “Cleveland Avenue Time Machine” was designed by Eisterhold Associates of Kansas City, MO, Jan Bochenek of Virginia, Ben Lawless of Maryland, Peter Vogt of Washington, DC, and Hadley Exhibits of New York. The Time Machine is an interactive experience that provides visitors a 20-minute virtual trip through time on a replica of the Cleveland Avenue bus where Mrs. Parks refused to surrender her seat to a White man in 1955. Using special lighting, seven-projector video, audio and fog effects developed by the creators, the Time Machine trip takes visitors back in time, covering historical events through the Jim Crow Era up to the modern day Civil Rights movement. The Children’s Wing opened in February 2006. The original museum opened in 2000 and since then more than 250,000 visitors have passed through its doors.

White said that receiving the award provides excellent third-party feedback on the quality of the museum exhibits, but the real reward is the opportunity to honor the life of Mrs. Parks and the 55,000 “foot soldiers” of the Montgomery Bus Boycott who stayed off the buses for 382 days protesting an injustice.

“We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish in just a few short years to help bring renewed attention to the remarkable achievements of Mrs. Rosa Parks,” White said. “This award will bring international industry attention not just to museum, but to Mrs. Parks’ memory.”