Faith and Liberty Discovery Center Celebrates Full Grand Opening
The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center (FLDC) today celebrated its full grand opening as COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in the city of Philadelphia. Situated on Independence Mall near the Liberty Bell, the FLDC is a technologically immersive, state-of-the-art educational center that allows visitors to explore the relationship between faith and liberty in the American story by illuminating the influence of the Bible on individuals in key historical and personal moments. The FLDC is a subsidiary of American Bible Society.
“The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center invites the nation to rediscover the unique role of the Bible in the American story. Through a series of interactive and thought-provoking exhibits, visitors explore the Bible’s role as an essential founding document for our nation,” said Robert L. Briggs, President and CEO of American Bible Society. “I am grateful for the many organizations and individuals who have contributed to this achievement and am proud to celebrate today the center’s unique place at this moment in our national history.”
“Today marks the exciting culmination of the six years we have spent bringing the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center’s vision to life here in Philadelphia. This historic effort is the result of an amazing collaboration of researchers, scholars, advisors, architects, exhibit and media designers, content developers, marketers, partners, and a core staff team. Chief collaborators in creating the experience are designers Local Projects, architects JacobsWyper, contractor LF Driscoll, fabricators Hadley Exhibits, and technology experts Zenith Systems. Together, they’ve created a truly stunning experience,” said Patrick Murdock, Executive Director of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center. “This center now belongs to our visitors, and we hope each of them gains a better understanding of the values that have guided many of our nation’s founders, changemakers, and leaders.”
“The thesis of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center is that faith guides liberty toward justice. I am tremendously proud of the commitment and dedication of our entire team, our scholars, and the local collaborators who have made this day possible. We feel very fortunate to be part of the Old City Philadelphia community, and I want to extend a special thank you to Councilmember Mark Squilla, Visit Philadelphia CEO Jeff Guaracino, and Independence Visitor Center CEO James Cuorato—as well as to our neighboring museums and houses of worship—for their warm welcome and support,” said Alan R. Crippen II, Chief of Exhibits, Programs and Engagement of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center. “It is a great privilege to encourage visitors to explore and discover for themselves the relationship of faith and liberty in the American experience. The contribution of the Good Book to American freedom is significant and influential. It’s been at the vanguard of every significant reform movement in our civic history, and that’s a story to discover here.”
“We’re thrilled to see the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center come to life. Our family has supported this historic endeavor from its inception, because we believe in the center’s mission to educate our nation on the significance of the Bible’s impact,” said Mart Green of the Green family, founders of Hobby Lobby and supporters of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center. “Our hope is that as people learn more about the powerful influence of the Bible on individuals throughout American history, they’ll be inspired to read it for themselves.”
“I’m proud of President Briggs, Executive Director Pat Murdock, and the entire Faith and Liberty Discovery Center team for envisioning and building this interactive experience focused on faith and liberty,” said Karen McDonald, Chair of the Board at American Bible Society. “It has been a great privilege to support the team on this journey, and now that Philadelphia is reopening, we can’t wait to share the center with guests from across the nation and around the world.”
Throughout the FLDC’s galleries, visitors delve into a rich collection of American treasures that explore the relationship between faith and liberty and reveal how Americans have defined and embraced these core values—which include faith, liberty, justice, hope, unity, and love—in respectively themed galleries. Exploration of history in the center is immersive and interactive; visitors are invited to use an AI-enabled lamp to collect content they can revisit at home and can turn into custom mementos at the center’s virtual retail shop.
The center is now open to visitors six days per week. Grand opening weekend festivities on July 2–3, 2021, include performances on the FLDC stage by local actors portraying the stories of Sojourner Truth and Abraham Lincoln and dramatizing selections from Frederick Douglass’s famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”. The first 50 visitors to check in for admission to the FLDC on Saturday, July 3, will receive an official swag bag of FLDC goodies.
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