Alive! provides a unique passport to the past. The program brings historical
characters to life through portrayals by presenters who have conducted
scholarly research on their character. Programs are available to nonprofit
organizations across West Virginia, including libraries, schools, museums,
historical societies, and civic groups. Beginning January 2014, History Alive! programs are also available to for-profit organizations and businesses wanting to provide an entertaining and educational component for their events.
History Alive! allows
audiences to explore history through interaction with historical figures.
These presentations are not one-person plays. They are intended to engage
audiences in a dialogue with the character.
History Alive! presenters
have conducted thorough research into the characters they portray. They
have gained insight into their character after studying primary sources
such as autobiographies, journals, letters, speeches and other personal
papers. Their presentation is based on scholarship and analysis rather
than a script.
Each History Alive! presentation has three parts:
Characters introduce the historical, social, and political issues that
influenced their lives. (15 - 25 minutes)
with the Character: Characters initiate a discussion with the audience,
allowing an opportunity for questions and discussion. (10 - 15 minutes)
with the Presenter: Presenters “break character” to answer
questions and continue the discussion as researchers rather than as
the historical character. (5 - 10 minutes)
How to Host a Presentation
History Alive! programs are available for $125 per presentation to both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, purchase orders, or checks made out to WVHC-History Alive are accepted methods of payment.
- History Alive! character and contact information is available at the bottom of this page by clicking on the character name.
- Booking Request Forms are available HERE.
- Interested group (non-profit or for-profit) contacts the presenter of the character they would like to host for a program.
- Host group and presenter agree on a date and time for the program.
- Host group fills out and submits a Booking Request Form along with $125 Booking Fee for each requested program to the Humanities Council.
- Accepted methods of payment are: checks made out to WVHC-History Alive, Visa, Discover, or Master Card, or purchase order.
- The Booking Request Form must be received by the Humanities Council at least two weeks prior to the date of the program. Earlier application is strongly advised to insure the availability of the desired History Alive! character and to help promote the event.
- Humanities Council confirms with the host group and presenter by email that the booking request has been approved and provides publicity material to the host group
- If the History Alive! presenter needs overnight lodging the host group is responsible for that cost.
- The Humanities Council pays the presenter their presentation fee directly.
- Host group submits a program evaluation provided by the Humanities Council.
- History Alive! programs should be offered at no cost to the public or event participants.
Have questions? Need help? Contact the Humanities Council program officeror call 304-346-8500 and we will be happy to help you book your program!
Programs will not be approved until a payment method has been confirmed and host groups and presenters have been notified by email.
A History Alive! presentation is NOT a play. The audience is expected
to enter into discussion with the character.
Be sure to contact presenters well in advance to schedule a program!
These programs are not intended for “walk-by” audiences.
They should be presented in a quiet space where other activities will
not distract the audience or presenter.
Take time to prepare
your audience for the presentation.Talk with the presenter before the
program to determine an appropriate introduction. It is your responsibility
to establish the context of the presentation for your audience.
Communicate with presenters and inform them of the audience size, schedule
changes, directions, and other important information.
Make sure that the program is on your school or organization calendar
to avoid schedule mix-ups. When you arrange to host a presentation you
are making a commitment to the presenter and the Council. If you need
to cancel or reschedule, you must give notice to the presenter as soon as possible.
History Alive! presentations must be acknowledged in all publicity as a program of the West Virginia Humanities Council.
School presentations are intended for classroom-size audiences rather
than large assembly-style audiences. Large audiences of multiple grade
levels can reduce the effectiveness of the presentation and question/answer
You cannot apply
for a Humanities Council grant to present a History Alive! character.
Click on a character name below for a description, photograph and contact