September 29 2009 // Work

Applied Art Creates Interactives for German American Heritage Center

In 1995, the German American Heritage Center Board of Directors purchased an old hotel in downtown Davenport and began remodeling the hotel. It was a small group of passionate volunteers united to preserve and celebrate German-American heritage.

In 2009, the entire third floor of the hotel has been remodeled into gallery space greatly expanding the number of exhibits the heritage center has to offer. On Friday, October 2, at 6:30 P.M. the center will have a grand opening to celebrate the new expansion.

Applied Art provided the German American Heritage Center with three electronic interactives, ambient audios for two rooms, and a theater.

The Telephone Party Line exhibit consists of three antique telephones displayed on pedestals. This interactive exhibit allows visitors to eavesdrop on three separate telephone “party line” conversations by picking up the handset and listening in. The conversations are between two people speaking with German accents and are designed to show the paranoia that existed during WWII when speaking German in Iowa was illegal.

The Immigrant Stories exhibit is in a section of the museum that is dedicated to telling the stories of immigrants from 1848 till 1925. The interactive exhibit allows visitors to browse though the stories of German immigrant background and experiences. Visitors will enjoy an engaging multimedia experience that delivers the German immigrant’s story through the use of graphics, audio, and photos. The stories are divided into four categories: German Culture and History, Experiences in a New Home, German Impact in Quad City Region and German Heritage. The interactive is displayed on a 40 inch monitor oriented in portrait mode. The visitor uses a track ball and push buttons to interact with the software.

The Step Into My Shoes exhibit invites visitors to step on one of three sets of footprints located on the floor in front of the exhibit. The three sets of footprints represent a man, a woman, and a youth. Stepping on one of the sets of footprints will start a video of a German immigrant telling their story of traveling to America or their experiences in America. The videos are displayed on a 52 inch monitor oriented in portrait mode.

Written By

Jeanie Jorgensen

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