History Colorado Center’s Living West Exhibit Explores Dynamics Between People, Environment

Tuesday, November 19 2013 07:44   Museums
Living West, a groundbreaking new 7,000-square-foot exhibit that explores the living dynamics between the people of Colorado and their state's extraordinary environment, will open Nov. 23, 2013 at the History Colorado Center in Denver.

The second of three exhibition phases, the Living West exhibit journeys into the deep relationships between Colorado's people and the land through three stories: life in the Mesa Verde region 800 years ago, the 1930s Dust Bowl on the southeastern plains, and today's Rocky Mountains.

livingwestVisitors explore how people have struggled, survived and thrived in Colorado's fierce and fragile landscape. Each gallery is designed to generate conversation about the environmental choices Coloradans have made and continue to make.

History Colorado's exhibit developers worked with environmental and archaeological experts from around the state to weave environmental history into the human story.

Tribal representatives from the Santa Clara, Zia, Acoma and Zuni pueblos and the Hopi Tribe assisted with both exhibit content and the selection of nearly 200 artifacts from History Colorado's renowned
Mesa Verde collections that illuminate the lives of ancestral Pueblo people.

With water as a consistent theme, Living West examines its impact on human and natural habitats and the implications of pine beetles, wildfire, increasing wildlife interactions and alpine snowpack on the mountains Coloradans love.

Visitors experience the epic 1935 Black Sunday dust storm, explore a water diversion project and measure their water footprint via interactive components developed in partnership with the
Science Museum of Minnesota, which also provided design and fabrication services for Living West.

The second phase will also feature new educational programs, live museum theater, demonstrations and performances, as well as two traveling exhibits coming in 2014: "Food: Our Global Kitchen" from the American Museum of Natural History and "RACE: Are We So Different?" a project of the American Anthropological Association.

Living West is included in the cost of a general admission ticket: $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors 65 years old or older, $8 for children 6-12; and children 5 and under are admitted without charge. For complete information, visit

Living West is presented in partnership with
Denver Water, with generous support from the Gates Family Foundation.

History Colorado inspires generations to find wonder and meaning in our past and to engage in building a better Colorado. Find out more about History Colorado, a Smithsonian Affiliate, on
Facebook, twitter @HistoryColorado, HistoryColorado.org, or call 303-HISTORY.


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