Becoming What It Always Was - The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

FEBRUARY 2017
Written by Rich Procter

At BRC Imagination Arts, we LOVE The Henry Ford. Henry Ford himself founded this place by aggressively collecting scientific and cultural touchstones so that great American innovators like Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Harvey Firestone, and Buckminster Fuller would be remembered and celebrated: not as dusty historical figures, but as unstoppable world-changers filled with a zeal to change the world for the better.

That’s why we’d like to celebrate a big name change for an iconic part at The Henry Ford campus. Four of its five attractions are unchanged: Greenfield Village, the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, the Benson Ford Research Center and The Henry Ford Giant Screen Experience.

The name of the fifth is changing big time, from The Henry Ford Museum to The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. Now this astonishing, inspirational storytelling center – the only one like it in the world, with thousands of priceless, one-of-a-kind artifacts -- gets a name that communicates its mission.

The Henry Ford provides unique educational experiences based on authentic objects, stories, and lives from America’s traditions of ingenuity, resourcefulness, and innovation. Our purpose is to inspire people to learn from these traditions to help shape a better future.

We’ve worked with the Henry Ford on a number of projects, most recently “Manufacturing Innovation” for the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. Happy guests tell us that this show aligns perfectly with the storytelling mission of the entire campus. The subject is “change-the-world” innovation. The kinetic, immersive storytelling technology is itself innovative. And the guest take-away is that we all have this spirit of innovation inside of us, just waiting to be unleashed.

As it has grown, the mission of the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation has broadened to include daring social innovators like Rosa Parks. By putting the world “Innovation” in the name, this place aligns itself with its own media showcase, “Innovation Nation.” Everyone who enters this enchanting place now becomes a resident of Innovation Nation, here to discover how much fun it is thrill people, broaden horizons and make the world a better, more exciting place.

The spirit of American Innovation has always had a home. Now that home has just the right name.