Join us online and in person on Saturday, February 24, at 2 p.m. to explore what it meant to grow up as "Gen X" with the Illinois State Museum's Curator of History, Erica Holst.
Sandwiched between the much larger Baby Boomer and Millennial generations, members of Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) have variously been called the "middle child generation," the "slacker generation," the "MTV generation," the "latchkey generation," and "the least parented, least nurtured generation in U.S. history." With minimal adult supervision, this generation's childhood toys, technology, and media had an outsized role in their development.
Holst's presentation examines toys, technology, and cultural touchstones that informed the development of Generation X. This free program will dig into the social, cultural, and historical factors behind the conditions and objects that surrounded this generation in everyday life, including the rise of divorce and single-parent families, the low-grade existential fear produced by the Cold War, the war on drugs, and the AIDS crisis.
This free hybrid program will be live-streamed to the Museum's YouTube Channel and held on the second floor in the McLean County Museum of History's Governor Fifer Courtroom. In-person program attendees are encouraged to bring their own "Gen X" artifacts to share at the end of the program.
The Museum will also feature "Gen X" artifacts from the collection in the rotating display cases on the first floor throughout the month.
Erika Holst is the Curator of History at the Illinois State Museum. Her most recent exhibition, Growing Up X, explored the toys, technology, and cultural touchstones that shaped Generation X.
Holst has worked in the public history field for more than 15 years, during which time she has curated more than a dozen exhibitions. She is passionate about sharing stories of people and history through material culture. Before joining the Illinois State Museum, Holst served as Curator of Collections at the historic Edwards Place in Springfield, IL. She holds a B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University and an M.A. from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture.
For questions or more information, please contact the Museum's Education Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.