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October 2, 2009

CW supports "BackStory" Radio Program

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (CWF) and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) announced today that Colonial Williamsburg will provide underwriting support during 2009-2010 for the VFH Radio program “BackStory with the American History Guys,”, heard on public radio stations around the country.

The one-hour interactive radio shows – including listener calls, interviews with guest scholars and experts, wide-ranging discussion, and produced features – were created for regional and national distribution by VFH Radio at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. On each program, three internationally renowned scholars – University of Virginia historians Peter Onuf and Brian Balogh and University of Richmond president and historian Ed Ayers – take a topic from the headlines and use it to drill down into America’s past.

Program topics have been as diverse as presidential transitions, unemployment, Mother’s Day, financial crises, leisure and travel, temperance and drink, imprisonment, energy, elections, rituals of mourning, federalism and health. Reaching people in their homes and cars, offering deeply informed, yet accessible and enjoyable conversation on the radio, the hosts make their own spontaneous thinking and that of other groundbreaking historians available to a wide public audience. During the past 14 months, “BackStory” episodes have been broadcast by 74 public radio stations in 32 states and Washington, D.C.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is dedicated to interpreting the origins of the idea of America, leading up to the American Revolution. Colonial Williamsburg tells the story of a revolutionary city and how diverse peoples, having different and sometimes conflicting ambitions, became a society that valued liberty and equality – looking to these values as a birthright, even though their promise remained unfilled. Colonial Williamsburg’s staff of historians, researchers and skilled interpreters provide a rich, in-depth resource on subjects relevant to today including issues of the role of citizens in a democracy, self governance, law and order, war, the economy and society at large.

“We are delighted that Colonial Williamsburg is providing underwriting support for 'BackStory,’” said Andrew Wyndham, Director of the VFH Media Program. “The convergence of our interests, in terms of the historical record and how past and present can be explored and mutually illuminated, makes Colonial Williamsburg an ideal sponsor for the show.”

“We are pleased to partner with the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities,” said Colin Campbell, president and CEO of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “This is an exciting opportunity to tell the stories behind our nation's founding and our democratic principles, through the creative and perceptive lens of ‘BackStory’ and the American History Guys.”

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture - stories of our journey to become Americans - while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” - a dramatic live street theater presentation. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington,D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities,, is a non-profit educational organization, created in 1974 to enhance the Commonwealth’s civic, cultural, and intellectual life. VFH accomplishes its mission through community grants; an international program of fellowships; and a broad range of other programs--among these, radio programming, including ‘BackStory’ and “With Good Reason”; the Virginia Festival of the Book; a Center on Violence and Community; the Virginia African American Heritage Program; the Virginia Indian Heritage Program; the Virginia Folklife Program; and Encyclopedia Virginia, an online resource that premiered in 2008.

Media Contact:
Tom Shrout
(757) 220-7265