Civic Season Mobilizes Gen Z to Take Part in Our Democracy, Meeting Curiosity with Credibility with Hundreds of Activities From Juneteenth to July 4
June 6, 2023
Washington, DC–With America’s 250th anniversary on the horizon, the National Archives and the National Archives Foundation have joined more than 300 historic institutions, heritage sites, and museums to help young people write the next chapter of history
Now in its third year, Civic Season is a summer tradition for learning and action, developed with input from members of Gen Z. Anchored by Juneteenth and Independence Day—two dates that highlight the gap between our nation’s promises and practices—Civic Season is a time to explore your story, and how it connects to U.S. history, through events, activities and resources from credible sources like the holdings of the National Archives. In 2026 we will mark the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and Civic Season lays the groundwork for a meaningful, vibrant commemoration for all.
In celebration of Civic Season, the National Archives and National Archives Foundation are jointly hosting public programs to connect young people with our shared past and using the National Archives as a resource. All events take place at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.
JUNE 17, 11 AM ET: Juneteenth Family Day
Celebrate Juneteenth with family-friendly art-making and activities in the Boeing Learning Center. All ages are welcome.
JUNE 22, 7 PM ET: Gen Z and Civic Engagement
Join award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien in conversation with Congressman Maxwell Frost (FL-10), the only Gen Z member of Congress. Welcoming remarks will be given by Archivist of the United States Dr. Colleen Shogan.
JULY 1, 2 PM ET: National Treasure Hunt: One Step Short of Crazy
An on-stage discussion with co-authors of the book National Treasure Hunt: One Step Short of Crazy, followed by a screening of National Treasure (2004).
JULY 4, 9 AM ET: July 4th with the National Archives
Celebrate the founding of the United States with a patriotic celebration that includes a ceremonial reading of the Declaration of Independence.
For full descriptions of programs and registration, click here.
“Civic season puts the spotlight on important conversations about our democracy,” said Patrick Madden, National Archives Foundation Executive Director and Chair of Made by Us. “Our goal is to inspire and motivate young adults on how they can connect to the American story.”
Civic Season is developed by Made By Us, a partnership collectively led by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, National Archives Foundation, First Americans Museum, Atlanta History Center, Senator John Heinz History Center, New-York Historical Society, and Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The Season kicks off on June 17 with celebrations across the nation.
Civic Season is supported by the Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller Brother Fund’s Our Common Purpose Initiative, the Arthur Blank Family Foundation, AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate, the William G. Pomeroy Foundation and other stewards of democracy and cultural institutions.
The tradition will build and grow in years to come, reaching up to 75 million young adults by the nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026, empowering them with resonant opportunities to contribute to the American story.
About the National Archives
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, so people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The agency supports democracy, promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries and online at www.archives.gov.
About the National Archives Foundation
The National Archives Foundation is an independent nonprofit that increases public awareness of the National Archives, inspires a deeper appreciation of our country’s heritage and encourages citizen engagement in our democracy. The foundation generates financial and creative support for National Archives exhibitions, public programs and educational initiatives, introducing America’s records to people around the U.S. and the world. Learn more at www.archivesfoundation.org.
About Made By Us
Made By Us is an unparalleled collaboration of more than 150 of the nation’s history museums to better engage Gen-Z with American history to inspire, inform and empower civic participation. Led collectively by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, National Archives Foundation, First Americans Museum, Atlanta History Center, Senator John Heinz History Center, New-York Historical Society, and Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, whose credible resources make up the foundation of Made By Us offerings, powering innovation with historical expertise. We meet young people where they are with content and programs to connect them with our shared past, present, and future. For more information, visit historymadebyus.com or follow @historymadebyus on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Contact: Liana Ascolese