Heritage & Vision at 24
Telling our stories past, present, and future.
Inviting all to join in the storytelling.
Engaging people in the struggle to live our values.
Recognizing who we are. Where we've been. Where we're headed.
Inviting you into something larger than yourself.
There is a very fortunate convergence at this moment among the Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA's) move to a new building; the location of that new building in an innovation district; and the technologies that make possible new ways for our movement to tell its stories.
For more information on Heritage & Vision @ 24, including more information on our still-in progress displays, please view our Visitor's Guide (PDF 11 pages).
Your contributions to this historic opportunity are greatly appreciated! If you would like to donate, please fill out this online giving form or contact us at (888) 792-5885.
Mission of the Heritage & Vision at 24 (H&V@24)
H&V@24 allows us to expand on that storied past, and connect it in a living stream to our dynamic present and exciting future. We will be able to truly engage visitors (Unitarian Universalists and newcomers alike) in the spiritual and ethical triumphs and challenges that we all face in living our values. Most important, H&V@24 will allow you to contribute content, tell your stories, and share your vision for our movement's future. More fully than 25 Beacon ever could, Heritage and Vision @ 24 will thus reflect you, our faith tradition's global reach, and where we are headed.
From 25 to 24
25 Beacon Street has been an important part of our movement's roots and history. As the Christian Register observed (PDF) in the 1920s, of the UUA's move into 25, "a new day in a new house will signalize the larger life of Liberalism."
H&V@24 is to be built at 24 Farnsworth will enable us to take the rich history and heritage of 25 Beacon Street with us. But it also makes possible so much more. Today's technology allows us to create displays that are compelling, multigenerational, interactive, and accessible in multiple formats.
Heritage and Vision at 24 is not confined to a single space; there is no “heritage and vision center” as such. Instead Heritage and Vision are illustrated and interwoven at several key spots throughout the first and second floors and, eventually, in virtual space. Heritage and Vision at 24 cannot show or tell it all. It can light pathways for visitors to learn more about what parts of it interest them, to add their perspectives, and join an ongoing global conversation about who we have been, who we are, and who we aspire to be.
Think of what you see as stops on a long, wide-ranging journey. Throughout, you will find resources for going deeper and learning more. Over time, other stops will be highlighted, and there will be new and different things to see, but always supported by an infrastructure where our stories abide: in archives, libraries, congregations, and other buildings. In print, in still and moving images, in video and sound. On social media sites and elsewhere on the web. And the stories you contribute will become part of that infrastructure, through Heritage and Vision at 24’s content management system.
New Ways of Telling & Sharing Our Stories
The H&V@24 design includes:
- Multimedia displays—outside the building, in the lobby, as well as in the building beyond.
- Interactive capability that allows visitors to explore aspects that interest them.
- Inspired by a display at the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver.
- More important, these tools offer multiple ways to communicate our values. One display has visitors highlight, combine, and share words and concepts.
Your Planning Team & Advisory Committee
- Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley
Program and Strategy Officer, UUA
- A J Aiséirithe, Ph.D.
I am a historian of the United States (Ph.D., University of Chicago), with a focus on New England abolitionists. I've organized and directed historically-themed public humanities programs in Boston working with local partners including the National Park Service, and featuring social media and walking tours. It is a privilege to work with so many Unitarian Universalists (UUs) who cherish their history and are committed to making it more accessible and widely known. What excites me most about Heritage and Vision @ 24 is the way it will allow the public face of the movement to truly reflect the diversity of UUism geographically, generationally, culturally, and in many more ways, while also allowing that representation to grow and change.
Donor Relations Specialist,
Stewardship and Development, UUA
As a life-long UU pursuing my call to ministry, I strongly believe that our religious history matters. I was raised in this tradition, some enter it later in life, but all of us who call ourselves Unitarian Universalists our bound in covenant with our religious ancestors. We are called to take this history, to see ourselves in it, to recognize where we broke our promises, and to recommit to our deepest values as we make new history together in the 21st century. I pray the history before us is rooted in compassion and justice.:
UU District of Metro New York
Ted has served in numerous positions as a volunteer with the UUA, including president of the District Presidents Association and chair of the Board's Moderator Nominating Committee. He'sretired from a career in judicial administration. His background includes a Ph.D. in history andhas written several histories. He continues to believe that we are building for the future from the foundation of our past record of accomplishments and failures and our older hopes and dreams. Building a Heritage and Vision center into our new offices will enlarge the record of our past,help identify the current dreams of many, and focus our efforts for the future.
Adult Programs Director,
Faith Development Office, UUA
Gail Forsyth-Vail works in the UUA Faith Development Office. She is a Credentialed Religious Educator, Master Level, who served congregations for 22 years before coming to the UUA to work on the Tapestry of Faith curriculum project in 2008. She is the author or co-author of several books and resources, including a forthcoming book of Unitarian and Universalist history stories from the Midwest, West, and South. She was the 2007 recipient of the Angus MacLean Award for Excellence in Religious Education.
Gail is passionate about finding ways help people of all ages grow in faith through authentic engagement with our Unitarian Universalist history. Heritage and Visioning @ 24 will invite the prophets, leaders, and caretakers of our faith tradition to find themselves reflected in the people and events that have shaped our tradition, so that they may more effectively carry our living tradition into tomorrow.
- John Hurley
Director of Communications, UUA
John Hurley is the UUA's director of communications. Before joining the staff of the Association, he did archival research on Unitarian Universalism at the UUA archives at Andover-Harvard Theological Library. He later served on the board of the UU Historical Society for six years.
"What excites me most about the proposed Heritage and Vision @ 24," says John, "is its potential to include the history and stories from congregations and even individuals as opposed to just a top-down institutional history of our movement. This uncovering of 'buried history' will convey a more nuanced picture of our history."
Dr. Emily Mace
Harvard Square Library
Emily Mace is the Director of the Harvard Square Library, a digital library of biographies, texts, and other materials about Unitarian Universalist and liberal religious history and practice. She holds a PhD in religious studies from Princeton University, where she studied the history of religion in America. She is particularly excited about the possibilities offered by the Internet and modern technology for bringing history to life in novel and engaging ways, and is excited to see te Heritage and Vision @ 24 becoming a place that not only tells many-sided stories about Unitarian Universalist history, but allows visitors to become part of that story themselves.
Youth and Young Adult Ministries, UUA
Our new headquarters will be an engaging destination for UUs from across the country, especially youth groups, that will kindle their inspiration and deepen their connection to the wider faith.
Dr. Dan McKanan
Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association Senior Lecturer in Divinity,
Harvard Divinity School
Dan McKanan is the Ralph Waldo Emerson UUA Senior Lecturer at Harvard Divinity School, where he works to prepare a new generation of leaders for our liberal religious tradition. He is thrilled that our new Unitarian Universalist Association headquarters will offer a rich introduction to that heritage for visitors from near and far.
Rev. Erik Martínez Resly
Lead Organizer of
The Sanctuaries, Washington DC
Rev. Erik Martinez Resly is the Lead Organizer of The Sanctuaries, a diverse arts community with soul located in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Divinity School."
Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie
Starr King School for the Ministry
North UU Congregation
I am excited that the HVC will be not just museum of the past for people to passively visit but a place to explore and actively contribute to the living stream that unites past, present and future generations of Unitarian Universalists.
Rev. Kate R. Walker
Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church, Alexandria, VA
Unitarian Universalist History and Heritage Society
As a lifelong UU, I was initially very opposed to selling our property on Beacon Hill. The emotional attachment to our history in Boston was strong, and having a place that physically connected to our story served as a homing "beacon" throughout my child hood and young adults years. It was and will continue to be a part of my identity. However, I'm also keenly aware that we need a future more than a past, and the buildings themselves, not the history attached to them, are an impediment to creating a relevant future in the 21st century. I am excited about the opportunity to reflect on our UU heritage and history with the primary question of what parts of our story do we need to share and how do we those stories?"
- Chris Walton
Editor, UU World
Christopher L. Walton is editor of UU World, the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association, where he has worked since graduating from Harvard Divinity School in 2000. For three summers he was a tour guide at King's Chapel, the Unitarian Universalist church on Boston's Freedom Trail, where he loved finding ways to help tourists find connections with an 18th-century building and an unfamiliar liberal religious tradition. He is excited that the UUA Headquarters will finally have dedicated space to welcome visitors and share Unitarian Universalism's vibrant story.
- Rev. Stefan Jonasson
Director of Growth Strategies and Large Congregation Development, UUA
Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley
Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring, MD
Rev. Dr. Nicole Kirk
Frank and Alice Schulman Chair of Unitarian Universalist History,