Last year, in the busy hallways of the American Association for State and Local History in Buffalo, a chance encounter with the STQRY team sparked an idea for the creatives at the American Battlefield Trust. The team was working on the American Revolution Experience (ARE), a traveling exhibition that would transform traditional storytelling, bringing the tales of the American Revolution to life for audiences out of reach from historic battlefields and cultural institutions. The encounter made one thing clear: STQRY’s no-code Kiosk was a solution they didn’t know they needed.
The Challenge: Bridging the Historical Gap
For many, the American Revolution is a story bound to textbooks and limited to specific geographic locations. The challenge was clear: how do we transport rich, multifaceted stories to those who live far from historic sites? How do we capture the imagination and attention of a diverse audience, allowing them to engage with the American Revolution in a meaningful way?
With support from a Battlefield Interpretation Grant from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program, the American Battlefield Trust decided to take their stories on the road. They created a traveling exhibit—based on the award-winning website created in collaboration with the Daughters of the American Revolution—to highlight lesser-known stories of that conflict and bring the historical content to new audiences. As the 250th anniversary of the United States' founding approaches, this exhibit is designed to travel the entire country, bringing engaging panels and diverse narratives of the nation's founding to a broader audience.
The New Need: Transportable and Affordable Digital Technology
With their sights set on an exhibit that moved between a huge variety of venues sourced by local DAR Chapters, the American Battlefield Trust needed interactive technologies that could expand access to their stories and foster new kinds of visitor engagement without tricky installations, extensive power reliance, or expensive programming requirements. Early in their endeavors, the team understood that they’d need to create an experience that was both visually stunning and digitally immersive. But to do so day by day, site by site, posed a new challenge.
The ‘aha’ moment at the AASLH conference came when the team saw STQRY Kiosks at work, with the potential to pair beautifully branded banners with interactive digital presentations on a shareable, transportable screen. The Kiosk offered an immediate gateway to a digital world where visitors could dive deeper into the stories of the American Revolution without needing to visit a website. It catered to various learning styles, making the stories accessible and engaging.
“What was truly remarkable was the speed of implementation,” shared Mike Rosst, Deputy Director of Digital Production with American Battlefield Trust. “The entire process, from ideation to execution, took no longer than eight weeks, with the Kiosk setups being completed in just 2-3 weeks.” This swift turnaround was critical in the lead-up to America’s 250th anniversary celebrations, ensuring that the ARE was ready to go to the audience.
A Creative Canvas: The Power of STQRY's Kiosks
“STQRY's Kiosks did more than just complement the print component of the exhibition,” mentioned Larry Swiader, Chief Digital Officer at American Battlefield Trust. “They allowed us to integrate various media forms, including long-form videos, short clips, and interactive content. This flexibility in design and rapid prototyping helped us experiment with creative approaches, particularly in presenting biographies and historical narratives.”
Having watched multi-generational audiences move through educational spaces, the American Battlefield Trust team placed a premium on accessibility. STQRY supports multi-media uploads across more than 55 languages and helps visitors take control of their experiences depending on their personal curiosities. Where a scrolling timeline might be of interest to one visitor, another visitor might want to flip through images or play an interactive game. What matters is that the content has a way of resonating with everyone; the exhibit aims to foster a positive relationship with learning and history for visitors of any age.
A Step Forward in Exhibition Design
Seeing the Kiosk in action was an exciting day. Its simplicity, combined with the ability to update content on the go, made it an ideal solution for a traveling exhibition. The offline capability was a game-changer for the exhibit, ensuring that the exhibition could be set up anywhere without the constraints of Wi-Fi connectivity.
The Kiosk became the central element in telling the stories that couldn't be confined to static banners. It housed an animated map that provided context to the American Revolution, linking locations, stories, and themes seamlessly.
“Working with STQRY, we were able to transcend traditional exhibition boundaries, creating an experience that was both educational and engaging,” said Rosst. “The ease of working with STQRY's technology and team, coupled with their responsive support, made this project not just a success but a joy to execute.”
The American Revolution Experience is already planning its next project with STQRY; we can’t wait to share what comes next. In the meantime, read more about the American Battlefield Trust here and explore their STQRY-powered Liberty Trail app.