Bringing the Constitutional Convention to life on Twitter

Posted May 9th, 2013 by Toby Grytafey  Category: Arts & Entertainment


Starting this May, Tweet the Debates is recreating the 1787 Constitutional Convention on Twitter to educate and engage people in our legal and political history. Twitter Actors will tweet summaries of every delegate’s speech from May to September 17th, with links to the original source text. Tweet the Debates is both an innovative Twitter Play and open-source study resource, and this is the last weekend of the Kickstarter campaign to help the project grow.

Tweet the Debates was developed by Toby Grytafey, a Toledo attorney and installation artist. Toby has transformed James Madison’s Journal of the Debates into “pre-tweets”, which will be rewritten and tweeted by Twitter Actors playing the 55 delegates. The rule of secrecy at the Convention is broken, and anybody will be able to follow the discussion on Twitter or the project’s website.

In order to encourage wide-spread engagement and create the best web-app stage for the performance, Tweet the Debates is seeking crowd-funding through a Kickstarter campaign: The campaign ends on May 14th, the date originally planned for the Convention to commence, and features interesting low-cost rewards that encourage supporters to join in the discussion, including a special reward for teachers, access to the ScriptSheet or a chance to politely suggest to a friend or enemy that they need to learn a little more about the Constitution.

Tweet the Debates has recruited Twitter Actors including hackers, lawyers, civics advocates, historians, and more to play Ben Franklin and the other delegates. Tweet the Debates is also working with organizations like the Ohio Center for Law Related Education and the national American Legion to promote the project and grow the performance into an inclusive engaging discussion about the fundamental questions of our government.

About Toby Grytafey
After graduating from Georgetown University Law Center, Toby Grytafey moved to Toledo and began working for Advocates for Basic Legal Equality in2005, mostly focusing on housing law and policy. With Tim Ide and Megan Bremer as TiMe To Productions, Toby has created video installations in Toledo, Ann Arbor and Detroit and won a n EPA national video contest about rule-making.

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