Our Founding Documents | Visions of America: All Stories, All People, All Places

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PBS Books, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), hosts the virtual program: “Visions of America: All Stories, All People, All Places” focusing on Our Founding Documents.

Led by IMLS Director Crosby Kemper, scholars Danielle Allen, Ph.D. and Yuval Levin, Ph.D. engage in a conversation exploring America’s founding documents, its promises, American society and our crucial citizen responsibilities. Both authors of outstanding books, Allen and Levin are considered to be among the foremost thinkers about American history, especially the Constitution, as it relates to contemporary society.

Also available on Facebook and Youtube.

ABOUT “Visions of America: All Stories, All People, All Places” SERIES

“Visions of America: All Stories, All People, All Places” is a digital-first series of videos and conversations that explores our nation with a renewed interest in the places, people, and stories that have contributed to the America we live in today.

Beginning in fall 2023, IMLS Director Crosby Kemper will lead a video tour through three lesser-known historical sites that symbolize an aspect of the spirit of America’s independence. The half-hour episodes include notable historians and authors who will share the tales and themes that reverberate inside the walls of these institutions. Viewers will explore the cities these organizations call home to showcase what makes each of these communities so important to America’s identity.


Danielle Allen is the James Bryant Conant University Professor and director of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. She was a recipient of a MacArthur fellowship in 2001 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009. In 2020, she won the Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity, administered by the Library of Congress, that recognizes work in disciplines not covered by the Nobel Prizes. Her many books include the widely acclaimed Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality and Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.


Yuval Levin is the director of social, cultural and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute, the editor in chief of National Affairs and a contributing Opinion writer at The New York Times. He served as a member of the White House domestic policy staff under George W. Bush and as a congressional staff member. He is the author, most recently, of “A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream.”


Crosby Kemper is the sixth director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. He was commissioned by the White House on January 24, 2020, following his confirmation by the United States Senate. IMLS, an independent government agency, is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s museums and libraries.

Kemper is a dedicated advocate for education and learning for people of all ages and backgrounds. He came to IMLS from the Kansas City Public Library, where as director, he established the library as one of the city’s leading cultural destinations and a hub of community engagement. Beginning his IMLS tenure at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kemper provided exceptional support and leadership to communities by elevating issues of pandemic impact, poverty, race, and the digital divide as part of the IMLS grantmaking process.

Along with leaders of fellow cultural agencies the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Kemper is a member of the re-established President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, as well as the congressionally mandated Information Literacy Taskforce. He is an ex officio member of the US Semiquincentennial Commission. As such, he has engaged museum, library, and arts leaders in deep conversations about American history and the Semiquincentennial. He also launched IMLS’s 250 initiative, “IMLS 250: All Stories. All People. All Places.”

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