The New Hall of Unsung Heroes Is Open!
The Hall of Unsung Heroes is now open at 1 South Main Street in historic downtown Fort Scott, Kansas. We look forward to your visit!
- Read Lowell Milken’s remarks from the Grand Opening ceremony
- Read Fort Scott Director of Economic Development Heather Smith’s remarks from the Grand Opening ceremony
- See photos from the Grand Opening and Day of Storytelling
“The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes is truly one of the great assets of Fort Scott and enriches our entire community. We at the City fully support the Center’s mission to educate our youth through the powerful stories of Unsung Heroes who change the world. We are dedicated to the growth of the Center as it expands its mission worldwide.” - Heather Griffith, Fort Scott Director of Economic Development
LMC Center for Unsung Heroes Fact Sheet
What is the Lowell Milken Center (LMC) for Unsung Heroes?
The LMC is an international education nonprofit that discovers, develops and communicates the stories of individuals in history who have made a profound and positive impact on the lives of others.
As an innovative educational think tank, the LMC provides substantial resources to students and educators worldwide on how to develop unsung hero projects, including topic ideas, research tools and references. New projects and exhibits are continually in development.
Who is Lowell Milken?
Philanthropist, education reform visionary and international business leader Lowell Milken has been actively committed to advances in education for four decades. He believes that “education is at the heart of nearly everything we value as individuals, as citizens and as productive human beings.”
Where is the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes?
LMC will be physically housed in a brand-new, interpretive museum in the heart of historic downtown Fort Scott, Kansas that opens in May 2016. The Center outgrew its old space across the street. The new 6,000-square-foot exhibition hall is located on the corner of Wall and Main streets.
What can I expect to see at the Center for Unsung Heroes?
LMC’s Center for Unsung Heroes features interactive exhibits highlighting individuals from history who took extraordinary actions to improve the lives of others, but were never recognized for their actions. These unsung heroes are often not found in history books. Rather, they have been discovered by students from around the world in collaboration with LMC staff and brought to light to inspire others. When visitors learn the stories of everyday women and men whose actions against injustice have bettered the world, they learn that one person has the power to make a difference—and that they can, too.
In addition to brand-new exhibits, the new space will include a 48-seat theater with bench seating, a conference room, a life-sized apple tree, and student art projects.
Examples of Unsung Heroes include:
- Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker who saved over 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II.
- Little Rock Central High School senior Kendall Reinhardt who faced bullies and beatings for being kind to the nine African Americans who integrated his school at the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
- Young photojournalism student Therese Frare who took the iconic photograph that changed the face of AIDS in the U.S. in the early 1990s.
How it all began
The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes represents the vision and collaboration of three people whose commitment to excellence in education has impacted thousands of lives: Founder Lowell Milken, Executive Director Norm Conard and Program Director Megan Felt.
In 1992, Lowell met educator Norm Conard of Uniontown High School in Kansas (retired from the classroom in 2007) when presenting him with a $25,000 Milken Educator Award. Over the years, Norm has engaged thousands of students in outstanding history projects that incorporate performing arts, multimedia, and video production. One of those students was Megan Felt.
In 1999, Megan, then a freshman in Norm’s Uniontown High history class, led her peers in the creation of a project that told the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker who rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. The students wrote a play about Sendler called Life in a Jar, which has since been performed over 350 times throughout the U.S. and Europe. Upon discovering that Sendler was still alive and living in Poland, the Uniontown students and Norm contacted and visited her. Since then, they have worked tirelessly to spread Sendler’s story, which led to her nomination in 2007 for the Nobel Peace Prize.
As Lowell offered his support for the Life in a Jar project, he and Norm began discussing how they could further promote such educational projects that bring to light Unsung Heroes like Irena Sendler. In April 2007, the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes was formally established as an initiative of the Lowell Milken Family Foundation.
Why Fort Scott, Kansas?
It was decided that the Center’s ideal location would be the heart of Kansas, where several of the award-winning projects originated. In August 2007, the Center opened its offices in Fort Scott, 17 miles east of Uniontown, under the leadership of Norm and Megan.
How does LMC work with students and teachers?
Through a unique project-based learning approach, LMC works with students and educators across diverse academic disciplines to develop history projects that include a combination of primary and secondary research. These projects ultimately take the form of student-driven plays, documentaries, exhibits, websites and art projects to highlight role models who demonstrate courage, compassion and respect.
What is LMC’s reach?
Since its inception in 2007, LMC’s Unsung Hero projects have reached over 9,000 schools and 1.2 million students, and the Center is currently working with schools in all 50 states and 29 countries. To date, LMC has had over 40,000 visitors from all 50 states and 78 countries.
What special projects is LMC working on?
- The LMC Fellowship Program unites top educators for a prestigious, merit-based opportunity in which fellows gain knowledge, educational resources and ongoing support to enhance their classrooms and help students cultivate a passion for learning by creating projects that initiate positive change. The program has grown from 2 LMC Fellows in 2008 to 71 in 2015.
- The LMC Discovery Awards, an international competition with prizes up to $7,500, recognize outstanding Unsung Hero projects by U.S. and international students in grades 4-12.
- LMC’s Unsung Heroes Art Competition, with a $7,500 grand prize, gives students grades 6-12 an opportunity to generate unique, creative interpretations both literal and abstract that honor the legacies of Unsung Heroes in an array of artistic mediums.
Principal architect: Trudy Faulkner of Susan Richards Johnson & Associates, Inc. (SRJA)
Building size: 6,500 sq. ft.; Exhibit space: 3,500 sq. ft.; Lot size: 9,600 sq. ft.
Can LMC be used by the community?
The new site will be a community resource for meetings, seminars and workshops.
Does the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes accept donations?
Yes! And when you give $100, we get $200! Every dollar donated is matched by a national foundation—DOUBLING your generous gift. And because all overhead is paid for, your money goes directly to programs that benefit students.
What are the Center’s hours?
The Center is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays by appointment. The Lowell Milken Center offers docent tours. For more information, please contact the Center.
How can I reach LMC?
For media inquiries:
Sabrina Skacan, sskacanmff.org, (310) 570-4773