Anne Frank wrote in her famous diary along with her attached photo, “This is a photograph of me as I wish I looked all the time. Then I might still have a chance of getting to Hollywood…” The Museum of Tolerance opened their newest permanent exhibit, “Anne: A Premier Experiential Exhibit,” on October 15th and fulfilled Anne’s wish with a mural of her portrait facing the streets of Hollywood, CA.
The new multimedia interactive exhibit requires a separate ticket to experience an intimate look into Anne Frank’s life before, during, and after WWII. Visitors can choose to see the museum before or after their visit or choose to only visit the Anne exhibit. The Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance and Simon Wiesenthal Center created this exhibit and received support and help from the Anne Frank Fonds and the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam.
The museum asks the visitor to be an active participant through the use of interactives. WIth the help of outside developers, two identical interactive screens with two styluses attached to each are placed in between displays of Anne’s hobbies and favorite things. A quote from Anne is displayed on the interactive screens and visitors can choose personal questions to answer which relate to the themes in the displays such as, “What is your favorite hobby? What is your favorite birthday gift?” With a stylus, the visitor can share his or her name, a response to the question, and his or her age. The visitor can see other people’s responses that have been recorded previously. Also, the questions are presented in a non-linear way as and shift in a random order.
At the end of the exhibit, a room with four interactive multiuser touchscreen tables invites visitors to make a pledge to take action. The room entitled Action Lab allows four users per interactive table at a time and visitors can submit a pledge through a touchscreen keyboard that connects to the themes of Anne’s writings. The visitor can choose to share their pledge on the Museum’s social media websites, either Facebook or Twitter. A screen on one wall displays pledges made by visitors.
The museum creates a sense of Anne’s personality and shares the themes of her writings as shown in the interactives even further through an interactive theater. The visitors together as a group enter the room through a replica of the bookshelf in the Annex. A fifteen minute dramatization with real documentary footage and narration of Anne’s voice by actress Hailee Steinfield provokes emotional response and also educates the visitor. The curved 260 degree screen immerses the visitor as moving images of the annex seem to be in the room with the visitors. Cued lights and sounds create a feeling of being in the Annex.
The museum makes Anne Frank personal and relevant to the visitor by sharing her story in an intimate way. The visitor learns about Anne’s personality, her favorite things, her hopes and dreams, her fears, etc. through objects and the immersive theater. With the use of multimedia the interactives, the museum allow visitors to share their feelings or reveal their personal favorite things and people and also view other visitor responses. After the journey of Anne’s emotional story, visitors can continue Anne’s legacy and pledge to take action. The interactives create interaction between the visitor, the museum, and other visitors by sharing everyone’s responses within the exhibition and social media websites. The museum asks the visitors to be active participants by sharing their personal responses and pledging to take action.