Carter Center offers visitors insight into Carters' work, lives
Eight-foot-high banners have greeted the many visitors to Atlanta and The Carter Center this summer with the message "Imagine a World at Peace." Wrapped around the upper tier of one of the five circular buildings that make up the center, the banners are visible to motorists passing in either direction on Freedom Parkway off Interstates 75 and 85. The banners urge international visitors and local residents alike to help The Carter Center advance its mission of promoting peace and human rights worldwide.
To educate the world about the institution's work and its affiliation with Emory, President and Mrs. Carter, along with Emory President Bill Chace, hosted media forums on July 18 and July 25 at The Carter Center. The Carter Center also is hosting eight hour-long press briefings between July 15 and Aug. 7, consisting of presentations from experts from each of the center's three main areas of concentration: democratization and development, global health and urban revitalization. "The Carter Center is one of the reasons that Atlanta's reputation as an international city is growing," said Carrie Harmon, director of public information. "We hope to educate visiting journalists about the ways in which our programs change people's lives for the better all over the world."
Although these press events are not open to the public, visitors are able to learn about the Carter administration and The Carter Center in a variety of ways. A visit to the museum provides adults and children of all ages an opportunity to view a replica of the Oval Office and numerous displays depicting the many accomplishments of the Carter administration, and allows them to get a hands-on understanding of the work of the center in some 65 countries via a new interactive exhibit with a computerized audiovisual display.
In addition to the interactive exhibit, two other special displays were available during the Olympics --"Beyond the Boundaries" and "The White House in Miniature." Through photographs, letters, gifts, personal notes, election ballots and house-building tools, the colorful and extensive exhibit "Beyond the Boundaries" tells the unfolding story of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter and their work worldwide.
"The White House in Miniature" is an impressive scale of the White House and its furnishings. Sixty feet long and 20 feet wide, the exhibit is an exact reproduction of the gardens, main buildings, offices, public rooms and even some of President Bill Clinton's private living quarters. Crafted according to a "one inch equals one foot" scale, every detail of the miniature White House is accurate. To add to the realism, phones ring, clocks tick and fires flicker in hearths.
Don Schewe, director of the Jimmy Carter Museum and Library, said that these two exhibits offered international visitors "the best of what the United States represents . . . a representative form of government, a commitment to human rights and a willingness to help those less fortunate."
To complete their visit to The Carter Center complex, visitors are welcome to tour the grounds. Walking paths lead to a Japanese garden, wildflower meadow, two small lakes, and a garden filled with 80 varieties of roses. The recently added bronze sculpture, "Sightless Among Miracles," depicts a blind African man being guided by a young boy. Donated by John and Rebecca Moores, the statue represents the center's work to end river blindness disease.
The Museum of the Jimmy Carter Library is open to the public Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m., and Sunday, noon-4:45 p.m. The nonprofit Carter Center is open to the public only by business appointment or for special events such as meetings or conferences.
Ann Carney is assistant communications coordinator at The Carter Center.