Carol Spacht
“Being Betsy: Why Living History Matters”
TEDxWilmingtonSalon: Fireside
Thursday, December 21st, 2017
Delaware Historical Society 

And……it’s done. Well, almost done, after I finish this blog about participating in the TEDxWilmingtonSalon: Fireside held at the lovely Delaware Historical Society in Wilmington on the Winter Solstice, 2017.

Reflecting back on the whirlwind experience of preparing for the event, I’ve progressed from ignorance to satisfaction. I readily admitted in my first blog that I was unaware of TED and TEDx talks when I began this journey. I committed to the project because I trusted the person who asked me to become involved – Geoffrey Berwind. He believed that I had an “idea worth spreading” and encouraged me to apply for a very special TEDxWilmington Salon that would explore the creativity and power of storytelling.

In our initial conversation, I explained to Geoffrey that I would consider this a legacy talk, a chance to share with a wider audience my passion and profession as a first-person interpreter, portraying the iconic role of Betsy Ross, flagmaker of the United States. However, as I progressed through the steps of preparation, creating outlines and rough drafts, I began to realize that I was also being given a rare opportunity to tell the true story of the amazing woman I portray. Too often, “Betsy Ross” is disparaged by the public as nothing more than a myth. Hopefully, my TEDx talk dispells some of the controversy surrounding this historic person, as well as the importance of experiencing the past and making it real to new generations, through the art and craft of first-person interpretation.

When the long-anticipated day of the Fireside Salon finally arrived, I was impressed with the professionalism and dedication of every person involved. Each aspect of the day had been carefully planned and considered. Busy, yes; disorganized, not at all! I admire the vision and work ethic of the TEDxWilmington organizer, Ajit Mathew George – it takes lots of energy to inspire people to become involved and committed to creating a high-quality event, and Ajit has vision and energy in abundance!

Most of all, I truly enjoyed hearing the other speakers, and loved seeing the common threads that began to appear in our talks. A beautiful whole-cloth of storytelling was woven with each different strand added from seemingly disconnected disciplines…, history, business, art, folktales, nationalities, religions.  Crossing centuries and countries, storytelling is important and valuable. Storytelling is power and light; wisdom and peace-making; innovation and imagination. Storytelling is the fiber of our humanity, and what better way to celebrate it than by the warmth of the fire of new friends and old friends, on the Winter Solstice.

Thank you, TEDxWilmington, Ajit Mathew George and Geoffrey Berwind, and the tribe of dedicated storytellers, who helped make such a memorable day!  It’s done…for now…but we never know what the future will hold….

Carol Spacht is well-known as “Betsy Ross,” portraying our nation’s premier flag maker in conjunction with Historic Philadelphia, Inc. and the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia. She has extensive knowledge of hand-sewing techniques, textiles, and the trade of the upholsterer in the eighteenth-century. READ MORE

TEDxWilmingtonSalon: Fireside // Thursday December 21st 2017 // Delaware Historical Society