Do you come with your rental exhibits to set them up? If not, how do we set an exhibit up ourselves?
No, we don’t travel with the photo-text exhibits except when we are asked to come as speakers or to bring an exhibit to a conference. You will receive your photo-text rental exhibit via UPS or Fedex in a trunk that will fit in the back of any station wagon. It is very compact and can be moved by two people. Inside the trunk, there are approximately twenty framed, ready-to-hang photographs, and each photograph is packed in its own bubble wrap envelope along with the text. Special versions of the text (K-2 text for the In Our Family exhibit, for example) are packed in separate padded envelopes in the trunk.
Very clear instructions are given to you when you book an exhibit about how to set it up in all kinds of venues. The staff of FDP is also available via email or phone to give advice about unusual circumstances, or to answer any questions you may have about setting up an exhibit.
How do you hang the exhibit? What kind of space do we need?
It’s actually quite simple and doesn’t take long to do. With all our photo-text rental exhibits, the photos and text are ready to hang with wires on the back. If you have wallspace, you just hang the photos and text as you would any art show, using nails or pushpins. Photographs are framed with plexiglas covers and measure 16′ x 20″ (some vertical, some horizontal). Each exhibit consists of approximately 20 photographs. Then there are laminated text panels (thick lamination like a credit card) which measure ll” wide x 17″ long. In addition there are quotes that are 11″ wide and 8″ long (hung horizontally) which you may want to use, too (but may not depending on space and situation). We can tell you exactly what to expect with your exhibit as each one is slightly different but the sizes are the same. Ideally, you would have at least 60 linear feet, but this isn’t a requirement. You could double hang the photographs. Some groups divide up the 20 photographs and put them in different areas of a building as well. If you use tables, you will need small table easels to hold the photographs and you can put the text right on the tables. Floor easels can also work, and we’ve even seen music stands used. Some folks rent or borrow room dividers/portable bulletin boards and hang the exhibit on both the back and front of them. (They must have wood backs, not corkboard, as the photos weigh about 2 pounds and you need the nail to go in solidly). We are happy to talk to you about your individual situation and make suggestions, as we’ve seen it all! (See Ideas for Display.)
What kind of places do people use to show the photo-text rental exhibits?
Our photo-text rental exhibits have been shown in venues as diverse as the exhibits themselves. From malls to statehouses, from private schools to entire public school districts, from student unions to university art galleries, from children’s museums to a holocaust museum, the photo-text rental exhibits have been used to fight prejudice and stigma. The exhibits have also been shown at public libraries, mental health center hallways, hospital lobbies, children’s health centers, major corporation’s headquarters, factory floors, corporate dining rooms, banks, shop windows on main streets, coffeehouses, bookstores, museums, national conferences, etc.
Why bring a photo-text rental exhibit vs. have a speaker on diversity or a diversity education trainer?
Speakers can be wonderful, too, and we often encourage groups to sponsor panel discussions, or a speaker, when the photo-text rental exhibit is at a particular location, or to use a diversity education trainer to prepare a group or school staff for an upcoming exhibition period. However, simply bringing a rental exhibit to your community can have a powerful impact because it is at your site for at least several weeks. Our photo-text rental exhibits have a strong and moving presence. which (according to the many places our exhibits have been already) brings awareness, inspires dialogue, and facilitates discussion among the targeted viewing audiences. Each photo-text rental exhibit inspires and moves people in ways that often a speech does not. In addition, an exhibit opening is often covered by the local media, and the photographs are available to be used in press releases to newspapers, etc. Many sites around the country receive a great deal of publicity for their cause, their project, or their organization in general, when they sponsor an exhibition. Even on a college campus or at a school, the local media may be very interested in writing about the exhibition. Co-sponsorship of an exhibition by several organizations, churches, schools, etc. can also lead to permanent connections in a local area.
Can we show all seven of your photo-text exhibits?
Yes, more and more groups are opting to show more than one of our exhibits, if not all seven, sometimes consecutively and sometimes over time. Some groups (especially schools and colleges) have loved our photo-text exhibits so much that they bring them back regularly.
Why do you have to charge a rental fee for the exhibits?
Family Diversity Projects is a very small non-profit organization dependent on exhibit rental fees, foundation and government grants, and individual donors to keep our work going. Exhibit fees are purposely kept as low as possible with a sliding scale. Public schools, religious organizations, libraries, public mental health organizations, and other non-profits receive our lowest fees and major corporations pay somewhat higher fees to help us make the photo-text rental exhibits available to non-profits. Even with the exhibit fees, we would not be able to do this work without the support of our funders – both foundations and individual donors. As low as we keep our rental exhibit fees, they do not cover our expenses.
We never want finances to stop any group or organization from bringing an exhibit to their community. Our goal is to have our photo-text rental exhibits travel as widely as possible, and we will work with your group with advice and support to make it possible. We have worked with individuals and very small, under-funded groups in the past, so please know that we will do everything we can to help your group show our photo-text rental exhibits.