We’re on a multi-year journey to dig deep into our collective story. Who were we? Who are we now? Who will we be, as a country? Made By Us is leading this conversation and invites YOU to be a part of it. We connect trusted sources on history – from partners in communities all across the United States, with expertise on immigrant experiences, the Revolutionary War, the Civil Rights Movement and everything in between – with what’s happening right now, in the IRL and virtual places young adults spend time. Together, we create empowering and informative experiences that connect past, present and future, inspiring participation in civic life.
Like our democracy itself, Made By Us is shaped by the people involved. Find ways to join in.
To guide travelers in planning their visits to cities across the country, Airbnb and Made By Us have partnered together to curate a wishlist of new Airbnb Experiences created by museums, historic sites, archives and more nationwide. Go behind the scenes of history while supporting the keepers of the past as they recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We partnered with the daily-civic-habits app, ActiVote, to share historical context from trusted museum sources alongside actions you can take to become an engaged citizen. Did you know 66% of people say holidays, like the Civic Season as a new twist on July 4th, should evolve over time, to reflect our new needs?
In 2021, Made By Us teamed up with Civics Unplugged and nearly 200 participating organizations nationwide to kickstart a new tradition to reflect, celebrate and build upon our complex American story. The Civic Season will be held each summer from Juneteenth through July 4th, a time to turbo-charge our democracy with micro-actions from learning to service.
In the first year, we gathered 450 activities to be explored, based on your interests. We held conversations on Clubhouse, amplified youth voices, and drove a dynamic conversation online. And we learned a lot along the way.
We’re gearing up to go even bigger in 2022 – join us!
The Civic Season is made possible thanks to the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate.
Civic Season Highlights
- Are you a Builder, a Networker, or an Investigator? Take the Civic Superpowers quiz.
- Why widening the lens matters: hear from the planners and visionaries on the first Civic Season themes.
- Check out Gen Z’s Ultimate Civic Season Bucket List.
- “Gen Z inherited an overly-commercialized Independence Day and an under-recognized Juneteenth. It’s our responsibility to reconcile that divide.” Kahlil Greene in The Blavity
- History is taking a place on the front burner of the national conversation. If we can use Independence Day, a day to celebrate freedom and ideals, and Juneteenth, a day that shows despite promises and rhetoric, freedom must be seized by those who hope to be free, we can help people understand.” Chris Wilson in Smithsonian Magazine
See more highlights at TheCivicSeason.com.
Launched in 2020,My Wish For U.S. invites anyone and everyone to voice their hopes and dreams for the future of the United States, as we approach the nation’s 250th anniversary. By articulating the kind of nation we want to build, we can inspire each other to take action.
My Wish For U.S. inspired thousands of Americans to share their vision for the country’s future and connect by sharing #MyWishForUS on social media, in classrooms and with elected officials. It was the first program officially recognized by America250, the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission organizing our 250th anniversary in 2026.
A series of related programs gave back to those in need, trained-up the next generation of leaders, and bridged divides between people in tech-boom cities.
Growing Readers and Leaders
Through a collaboration with First Book and AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate, we gave away 60,000 books nationwide to Title 1 classroom teachers, based on their submitted wishes.
The Future Made By Us Workshop Series
You made your wish – how to make it into reality? In each of these interactive, online sessions, we shared a different technique that futurists and innovators use to connect a vision for tomorrow with actions you can take today. Together, we explored Backcasting; Ecosystem Mapping and Power Mapping; and with Lisa Kay Solomon of the Stanford d.school, how to Vote By Design. With our partners at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, North Carolina, we explored how to “argue better” about tech boom tensions thanks to a partnership with the Aspen Institute’s Better Arguments Project.
Explore the Conversation
“How will we remember what it was like?”
As we live through the history-making COVID-19 crisis, museums and cultural institutions are documenting and preserving daily life and loss. We launched a crowdsourced map with over 500 such initiatives nationwide.
You can join in the #TrashOrTreasureChallenge, using our activity PDF, sharing what *you* would save to remember from this time. See what objects our museum partners selected, like an old ventilator machine from the Tallahassee Museum, rebuilt for use in today’s crisis.
Where we’re streaming, speaking, writing and convening people together to talk history + future.
The Washington Post: The Path Forward
2020 Year in Review
Live with Andrew Zimmern
Tea Party Tonight
CBS This Morning
The Role of Art in Democracy
Reagan Institute Summit on Education
Ask a Historian with HistoryMiami
University of San Diego
Live with Kidada Williams
Food Justice with Food Forward
How Finding a Personal Connection to the Greensboro Four Led Me to My Own Civic Activism
I learned that contrary to what my teachers had taught me, the sit-in wasn’t peaceful — in fact, it was quite the opposite.
It's Time for Gen Z to Lead the Conversation about What It Means to be American
I’m interested in how we can honor our country by better upholding the promises made during this foundational moment in its history.
Widening the Lens: How the Landscape of Our First Civic Season Emerged
In the spirit of a more inclusive telling of the American story, we hosted three conversations to uncover themes around this season.
Environment +: These Changemakers Share Their “Plus” When It Comes To Saving the Planet
Understanding the past is an important part of finding more sustainable solutions for the future.
Four Inspiring Young Black Women Stepping Into Their Power
The past is present. These women are shaping the future, using history as a tool to guide and inspire.
Our Past, My Future: Growing Up Black in America
As we look back, we must also look around. In honor of Black History Month, we asked several young Americans how their experience growing up Black in America has been shaped by history, both lived and learned. History is a collection of experiences remembered. By amplifying the voices of young Black Americans today, their words become a powerful record for future generations.
Nanyehi “Nancy” Ward Helped Lead the Cherokee Nation As a Teenager
It’s more than apparent that the future is female — but let’s not forget that the past is female too. We draw inspiration from the stories of Native women leaders like Nanyehi “Nancy” Ward, a member of the Cherokee Nation who believed that women would be critical to establishing peace with white settlers.
The First Step To A Better Future? Having Difficult Conversations About The Past
Without a broad and accurate grasp on the origin of today’s issues, we cannot appropriately resolve them, much less build a stronger America for all. That’s why prioritizing education inside and outside the classroom is the first step in creating a better America.
Who Tells Your Story? Tips for Capturing Your Personal Past — and Present
Need some inspo to get started? Meet the world’s youngest certified genealogist, Alex Trapps-Chabala.
Gen Z is leaning in. Are museums ready to make room?
For museums, this kind of engagement is encouraging; it’s an opportunity to provide trusted expertise, sources and scholarly context. But to join their conversation, we have to make room at our decision-making tables for Gen Z leaders and creators, embracing the accountability they’re putting in place.
History can help shape the future. But first, we need to get comfortable with complexity
Across the country, over the last few weeks, people tuned into reports from D.C., Minneapolis, Atlanta and Los Angeles with emotions running high. One common reaction wove its way through the clutter of news articles, opinion pieces and tweets: a craving for history to help us understand how we got to where we are, and how to find a way forward.
Frederick Douglass found hope in our Declaration of Independence. So can we.
Rodney E. Slater, vice chair of the National Archives Foundation Board of Directors, partner at Squire Patton Boggs, and a former secretary of transportation, reflects on the founding promise stated in our most treasured documents – and the work, and faith, required to make it real.
AdWeek: Life Interrupted, Time Disrupted for Gen Z
Hear from experts at Cassandra, Snap, EY, and Made By Us on key insights and data regarding the impact of Gen Z.
More than the Sum of Our Parts
The future of cultural institutions is in collaboration. Made By Us and the National Museum of American History model what this looks like nationwide.
Feeling Overwhelmed by the News? Here's How History Can Help
Historical perspective can help us see the events in the news as part of an ever-evolving continuum, a network of interconnected actions and consequences.
Our Hidden Superpower: The Sum of our Parts
The challenges we face now are unique and devastating, but the way to tackle them is the same: let us band together, share what we have and what we know, and grow our capacity to thrive among new-ness. That’s the engine that powers Made By Us, and we’d like to invite you to join us for the ride.
Reading Lists Aren’t Just For Summer — These Books Inspire Year-Round
We turned to our partners to create a crowdsourced, digital version of an annotated bookshelf.
Curious about who is making history everyday in cities across the U.S.? #MBUMonday is where you can find changemakers and projects that are serving up history to the people, and sharing fun, creative and meaningful ways you can get involved in your community to make the future.
If you’re a member of the media interested in receiving our press kit or getting more information, please reach out to Valerie Donati at email@example.com.
- October 2021
Return to Your Favorite Museums with Airbnb Experiences and Made By Us
- May 15, 2021
Made By Us and Civics Unplugged Partner to Launch the Inaugural Civic Season
- October 28, 2020
My Wish For U.S. is the First America 250 Program Officially Recognized by the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission
- September 10, 2020
Made By Us, First Book and AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate Launch the Wishes For Books Giveaway, Inviting Teachers to Submit Their Classroom’s Wishes for the Future of the Country
- June 15, 2020
Made By Us Launches Its First Interactive Experience: My Wish For U.S., Inviting Everyone To Share Their Vision For The Future
In the News
- Philly Voice
Betsy Ross House Hosting Tours that Allow Guests to Enter
- 11Alive Atlanta
Airbnb Launches New Way to Explore Atlanta
Good Day Philadelphia
Airbnb Offers Way to Go Behind the Scenes of History
Airbnb Offering an Exclusive Way to See Hidden Parts of the Betsy Ross House
Airbnb Made By Us Experiences
Founders Day Conversations Made By Us
Why History Museums Are Convening a “Civic Season”
- Richmond Times-Dispatch
The enduring legacy of Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence
Davenport’s Putnam and Moline’s Fourth Wall Featured in Inaugural Civic Season
Museums across the country participate in the “Civic Season”
- American Alliance of Museums
Gen Z is leaning in. Are museums ready to make room?
- CBS Pittsburgh
Heinz History Center’s Civic Season Exhibit
- The Fulcrum
On Juneteenth, let us both reflect and move forward
- CBS News
COVID-19 time capsules preserve history of pandemic through artifacts, audio recordings
- Authority Magazine
Young Changemakers: How Caroline Klibanoff of “Made By Us” is helping to make a difference in our world
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Heinz History Center is part of national collaboration for ‘Made By Us’ initiative
Life Interrupted, Panel with Made By Us, Engine Group, AdWeek, EY and Snap
- Metro Philly
Carpenters’ Hall creates connections from the past to the present
“Wishes for Books” program is giving 20,000 books to classrooms across America
- Times of San Diego
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