National Civil Rights Museum's renovations offer something new - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

National Civil Rights Museum's renovations offer something old, new

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DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

The doors to a newly renovated national civil rights museum are set to open next month, unveiling $27.5 million worth of renovations and new exhibits.

The museum officially reopens Saturday, April 5, after nearly six years of fundraising and a year-and-a-half of construction.

MORE: Grand re-opening preview of National Civil Rights Museum

The renovations add several new exhibits, and lend a little something new to old classics, too,   making original exhibits, such as the Montgomery bus and the sit-in counter more interactive with touch screens and new films.

Museum officials are hoping these additions will attract patrons, new and old, to experience a piece of American history.

"These are the folks that actually lived the movement, were involved in the movement, pushed the movement, supported the movement," said Faith Morris, Director of Marketing, Governmental and Community Affairs. "If you've been to the National Civil Rights Museum, you have not been to this National Civil Rights Museum. This is a new museum. It's really totally redone. "We wanted to make sure the museum represented what our audience and our young people really want to see so they can be engaged."

New toys and new exhibits to help understand the past. Some tweaks to older exhibits to bring them up to date. Adding new videos and firsthand accounts of what it was like to be an African-American decades ago.

"These are the folks that actually lived the movement, were involved in the movement, pushed the movement, supported the movement. Them telling their stories of what happened to them, what it was like during their time and what they went through just to try to get equality," said Morris.

So when you walk through the door it really is like walking back in time.

"Once you come to the National Civil Rights Museum, whatever you had in your head when you got to the door, you're really transfixed, you're transformed, brought into the moment," Morris said.

The museum officially reopens to the public April 5. A candlelight vigil will beheld the night before on April 4, commemorating the 46th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination.

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