The Cahokia Mounds Museum Society (CMMS) is honored to announce the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) has selected us as a 2023 Award of Excellence winner by the Leadership in History Awards Committee for Back to the City of The Sun: An Augmented Reality Experience. This year, AASLH conferred fifty-one national awards honoring people, projects, and exhibits that represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history.
The AR tour application process began in 2018, with the goal of seeking funding for a more sophisticated and contemporary interpretive experience for our visitors. In 2019, the CMMS was awarded a $100,00 Digital Projects for the Public Prototyping grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This phase was a planning stage for the larger technology project to come. In November of 2019, the CMMS was awarded a $250,000 Digital Projects for the Public Production grant to produce a fully functional program by the end of 2021. Working in tandem with the team at Schwartz & Associates Creative, the CMMS launched the first phase of the project in December of 2021, with the Monks Mound Tour. The second phase was launched shortly after in February of 2022, with the inclusion of the Grand Plaza Tour.
The Cahokia AR Tour is a cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) experience offering visitors a glimpse of what Cahokia might have looked like over one thousand years ago. Purchase the application from either the Apple App Store if you have an iPhone or the Google Play Store for all other smart devices. The Monks Mound tour begins at the AR map near the Monks Mound parking lot. The Grand Plaza Tour begins at the AR map just behind the Interpretive Center. For each tour visitors will scan waypoints with their smart device camera to activate the AR images. By looking at their device visitors will see video on their screen of what that specific waypoint might have looked like from the initial development of Cahokia to Present Day.
This audio-visual program will enhance the visitor experience, which is critical during our extended renovation closure. Thank you to AASLH for this esteemed honor and congratulations to the CMMS and Schwartz & Associates Creative for all their hard work and determination in seeing this project through and developing a program that interprets Cahokia Mounds like never before!
*The Cahokia AR Tour is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play for $4.99.
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), a national nonprofit association, provides leadership and resources to help the history community thrive and make the past more meaningful for all people. AASLH serves the tens of thousands of history organizations, professionals, and volunteers around the country who help people of all ages develop critical thinking skills and understand how learning history helps society make progress toward justice. Through research, advocacy, and our field-leading professional development program, AASLH advances public history practice and connects history practitioners to critical issues in the field and to one another. For more information about AASLH visit www.aaslh.org.
*For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to www.aaslh.org.