|Location||210 Morrissey Boulevard|
Boston, MA 02125
|Type||Specialized, Historical, Biographical|
|Accreditation||American Alliance of Museums|
|Visitors||62,000 visitors per year (this includes about 16,000 students)|
|Founder||Edward M. Kennedy & Victoria Reggie Kennedy|
|Public transit access||JFK/UMass JFK/UMass JFK/UMass JFK/UMass|
|Nearest parking||On site (no charge)|
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate (also known as the Kennedy Institute) is a non-profit civic engagement and educational institution on Columbia Point in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, next to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on the University of Massachusetts Boston campus. Named for long-time U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, the Institute contains a full-scale reproduction of the United States Senate Chamber, a replica of Kennedy’s Washington, D.C. office, and digital exhibits. The organization includes the Kennedy Home in Hyannis Port, which was donated to the Institute in 2012 as part of a "mission of educating the public about the U.S. government, invigorating public discourse, emphasizing the importance of bipartisanship, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the public square."
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in the United States government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic life of their communities.
The building houses the only full-scale reproduction of the United States Senate Chamber.Visitors are encouraged to explore the space with the help of exhibit interpreters and participate in the Institute’s signature daily programs, such as Today’s Vote and Great Senate Debates.
The exhibit halls feature technology-driven projected displaysthat immerse visitors in the history of the Senate through exhibits such as What is the Senate?, Traditions of the Senate, and People of the Senate. In addition, the halls include interactive exhibits, such as How a Bill Becomes a Law, where visitors work together to negotiate and select ice cream sundae toppings, vote on bills, override vetoes, and practice the skills needed to guide legislation through Congress.
This exhibit features a full-scale replica of Senator Kennedy’s Washington, D.C. office, where visitors, equipped with provided tablets, are able to explore the stories behind pieces of the collection.
The Institute offers a series of public programs and special events hosted in Boston and Washington, D.C. on local and national issues. These programs are open to the public.
The Getting to the Point series convenes individuals with diverse perspectives to discuss current issues and the challenges the American government is facing. Getting to the Point takes on various formats from town halls to keynote lectures and panel discussions, and showcases speakers from all walks of life. Since opening, the Institute has hosted a variety of speakers ranging from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell,to Congressman John Lewis, to Red Sox Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martínez.
This series brings together government leaders with disparate ideologies, from different political parties who are collaborating on a common cause. In moderated discussions, Across the Aisle highlights the type of civil discourse, negotiation, collaboration, and leadership that leads to solutions for pressing problems. The series features members of Congress, governors, mayors, and other elected officials and both national and local issues.
The Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Project, created in partnership with the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, was released in September 2015.The project is a compilation of interviews from current and former members of the Senate, House, administration officials, foreign leaders, Senate staff, issue advocates, journalists, family, and friends documenting Senator Kennedy’s service. The Institute has hosted a speaker series that draws on this resource to highlight current and future national issues before the U.S. Senate.
The Senate Immersion Module (SIM) is a program for middle and high school students that uses negotiation and debate skills to teach about the legislative process. Using high-touch tablets provided by the Institute, groups of students work together to create a bill on a historic issue or a current policy.
In the Future Senators program, visitors age 5–11 years old are introduced to an issue relevant to kids: whether the U.S. government should require a longer school day. The program includes “experts” for kids to interview, provides time for a debate about what participants learned, and concludes with a voice vote in the full-scale Senate Chamber.
The Institute’s facility is a 68,000 square foot (6,317 m2) building designed by Rafael Viñoly, targeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) specifications for sustainable building.The centerpiece of the Institute is a full-scale recreation of the Senate Chamber. The halls lining the Chamber are known as the Chamber Surround, and feature the majority of the Institute’s exhibits. The Institute also features a replica of Senator Kennedy’s Washington, D.C. office, a Special Exhibits gallery, an Orientation Theater, and three technologically equipped studios for educational programs and breakout sessions. The Institute also includes a café, a gift shop, and a coat check.
The Institute is located on Columbia Point in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The Institute is on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Boston, adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and next door to the Massachusetts Archives and Commonwealth Museum. The Institute can be reached from nearby Interstate 93 or by taking the Red Line or the Commuter Rail to JFK/UMass station and boarding the free shuttle bus (#1) that drops off in front of the Institute.
The Institute’s concept, design, and production are the result of a collaboration between Senator Edward M. Kennedy, his wife Vicki Reggie Kennedy, and Ed Schlossberg of ESI Design.During the production process, Control Group was brought on for software development, Richard Lewis Media Group for media elements, Electrosonic for projection technology, and Gigantic Mechanic for game mechanics.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 8, 2011.The Institute was dedicated by President Barack Obama on March 30, 2015, with Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama in attendance. The Institute opened to the public on March 31, 2015.
The cost of the institution was $78 million in 2011, with $38 million in federal funding and a $60 million endowment that helps to pay for the $10–12 million annual operating budget of the Institute. As of 2017, admission tickets cost $16 for adults with a $2 discount for Massachusetts residents. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increased emphasis on virtual opportunities for programming while in-person visitation resumed after a six-month hiatus in October for group tours on Wednesdays. The Institute's 2018 Form 990 filing lists net assets of $65,030,602 for the Institute and revenue less expenses of -$6,537,740, compared to revenue less expenses of -$7,452,014 in 2017.
Sue Heilman was named Interim Executive Director of the Institute on March 26, 2020. Heilman has more than 25 years's experience growing and leading mission-based organizations and has served as the interim executive director of The Lenny Zakim Fund,Alternatives for Community and Environment, Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, MassEquality, and the Hull Lifesaving Museum. Previously, Heilman served as the Executive Director of Horizons for Homeless Children for 18 years, and Thompson Island Education Center for five years. Her consulting practice has included strategic planning, board development and fundraising planning for a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Victim Rights Law Center, Steps To Success, School on Wheels, New Hampshire Black Heritage Trail, Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Family Nurturing Center, Piers Park Sailing Center, and Kurn Hattin Homes for Children. She also currently facilitates Empower Success Corps’ Nonprofit Executive RoundTable, a monthly leadership development gathering of nonprofit leaders.
The Institute was previously led by Dr. Jean F. MacCormack from 2014 to 2017,Andrew Tarsy from 2012 to 2014, and Peter Meade from 2009 to 2012. It was announced on November 4, 2019, "with mixed emotions" that the Institute’s president, Mary K. Grant, Ph.D., who only assumed leadership in 2018 would be leaving within the month.
In 2012, the Kennedy family donated the main house of the historic Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port to the Institute fulfilling a promise made by Senator Kennedy to his mother, Rose, to donate the house for charitable use.The Institute announced that it hopes to use the house to host educational seminars and other forums, and that it eventually plans to open it to visitation by the public.
The Kennedy family is an American political family that has long been prominent in American politics, public service, entertainment, and business. The first Kennedy elected to public office was Patrick Joseph "P. J." Kennedy in 1884, 35 years after the family's arrival from Ireland. He served in the Massachusetts state legislature from 1884 to 1895. At least one Kennedy family member served in federal elective office in every year from 1947, when P. J. Kennedy's grandson, John F. Kennedy, became a member of Congress from Massachusetts, to 2011, when P. J. Kennedy's great-grandson, Patrick J. Kennedy, retired as a member of Congress from Rhode Island, a span of 64 years.
The University of Massachusetts Boston is a public research university in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the only public research university in Boston and the third-largest campus in the five-campus University of Massachusetts system. UMass Boston is the third most diverse university in the United States. While a majority of UMass Boston students are Massachusetts residents, international students and students from other states make up a significant portion of the student body. Founded with a distinct urban mission, UMass Boston has a long history of serving the city of Boston, including numerous partnerships with local community organizations. It is an official member institution of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities and the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity".
John Edward Sununu is an American politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senator from New Hampshire. Sununu was the youngest member of the Senate for his entire six-year term. He is the son of former New Hampshire Governor and former White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu. On November 4, 2008, Sununu lost his re-election bid to former governor Jeanne Shaheen. His younger brother, Chris Sununu, has been the Governor of New Hampshire since January 2017. He is the only Salvadoran-American ever elected to the U.S. Congress.
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was an American politician and lawyer who served as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts for almost 47 years, from 1962 until his death in 2009. A member of the Democratic Party and the Kennedy political family, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-continuously-serving senator in United States history. Kennedy was the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy and U.S. Attorney General and U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and was the father of Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy.
Patrick Joseph Kennedy II is an American politician and mental health advocate. From 1995 to 2011, he served as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Rhode Island's 1st congressional district. He is the founder of the Kennedy Forum, a former member of the President's Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, and co-founder of One Mind.
Hyannis is the largest of the seven villages in the town of Barnstable, Massachusetts, in the United States. It is the commercial and transportation hub of Cape Cod and was designated an urban area as of the 1990 census. Because of this, many refer to Hyannis as the "Capital of the Cape". It contains a majority of the Barnstable Town offices and two important shopping districts: the historic downtown Main Street and the Route 132 Commercial District, including Cape Cod Mall and Independence Park, headquarters of Cape Cod Potato Chips. Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis is the largest on Cape Cod.
Edward John Markey is an American politician who has served as the junior United States senator from Massachusetts since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the U.S. representative for Massachusetts's 7th congressional district from 1976 to 2013. Between the House and Senate, Markey has served in Congress for more than four decades. He was also a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1973 to 1976.
Boston College Law School is the law school of Boston College. Boston College Law School is situated on a 40-acre (160,000 m2) wooded campus in Newton, Massachusetts, about 1.5 miles from the university's main campus in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library and museum of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917–1963), the 35th President of the United States (1961–1963). It is located on Columbia Point in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, next to the University of Massachusetts at Boston, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, and the Massachusetts Archives and Commonwealth Museum. Designed by the architect I. M. Pei, the building is the official repository for original papers and correspondence of the Kennedy Administration, as well as special bodies of published and unpublished materials, such as books and papers by and about Ernest Hemingway.
The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is a linear park located in several Downtown Boston neighborhoods. It consists of landscaped gardens, promenades, plazas, fountains, art, and specialty lighting systems that stretch over one mile through Chinatown, the Financial District, the Waterfront, and North End neighborhoods. Officially opened in October 2008, the 17-acre Greenway sits on land created from demolition of the John F. Fitzgerald Expressway under the Big Dig.
The "Boiler Room Girls" was a nickname for a group of six women who worked as political advisors for Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign in a windowless work area in Kennedy's Washington, DC electoral offices. They were political strategists who received national media exposure from the infamous Chappaquiddick incident. It was in this incident that political strategist Mary Jo Kopechne died in a car crash where Ted Kennedy was the driver.
The Kennedy Compound consists of three houses on six acres of waterfront property on Cape Cod along Nantucket Sound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, in the United States. It was once the home of Joseph P. Kennedy, an American businessman, investor, politician, and U.S. ambassador to Great Britain; his wife, Rose; and their children, including U.S. President John F. Kennedy and U.S. Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy. As an adult, the youngest son, Edward, lived in his parents' house, and it was his primary residence from 1982 until he died of brain cancer at the compound, in August 2009.
Paul Grattan Kirk Jr. is an American lawyer and politician who served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts from 2009 to 2010, having been appointed to fill the vacancy created by the death of Ted Kennedy. From 1985 to 1989, he chaired the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Columbia Point, in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts sits on a peninsula jutting out from the mainland of eastern Dorchester into the bay. Old Harbor Park is on the north side, adjacent to Old Harbor, part of Dorchester Bay. The peninsula is primarily occupied by Harbor Point, the University of Massachusetts Boston, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, and a complex at the former Bayside Expo Center, Boston College High School, and the Massachusetts Archives. The Boston Harborwalk follows the entire coastline.
The United States Senate special election of 1962 in Massachusetts was held on November 6, 1962. The election was won by Ted Kennedy, the youngest brother of then-President John F. Kennedy, who would remain Senator until his death in 2009.
The 2010 United States Senate special election in Massachusetts was a special election held on January 19, 2010, in order to fill the Massachusetts Class I United States Senate seat for the remainder of the term ending January 3, 2013. It was won by Republican candidate Scott Brown.
Barnstable is a town in the U.S. state of Massachusetts and the county seat of Barnstable County. Barnstable is the largest community, both in land area and population, on Cape Cod. At the 2010 census it had a population of 45,193. The town contains several villages within its boundaries. Its largest village, Hyannis, is the central business district of the county and home to Barnstable Municipal Airport, the airline hub of Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Additionally, Barnstable is a 2007 winner of the All-America City Award.
Joseph Patrick Kennedy III is an American lawyer and politician who served as the U.S. Representative for Massachusetts's 4th congressional district from 2013 to 2021. A member of the Democratic Party, he represented a district that extends from Boston's western suburbs to the state's South Coast. He worked as an assistant district attorney in the Cape and Islands and Middlesex County, Massachusetts, offices before his election to Congress.
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