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Learn about the Secret Language of the Fans

In 1860, how did you communicate across a busy dance floor without a cell phone? By using your fan, of course! In this fun family workshop we will learn about the secret language of fans, make a fan, and practice fan signals across the room.

A simple flip or tap of a fan could hold an important message for your suitors in the 1800s. Learn about the ways that people shared their thoughts during formal dances in the Civil War era on Saturday, January 25, from 1-3 pm at the Branigan Cultural Center. The workshop is free and open to the public and all materials will be provided.

This workshop is part of a full span of activities to accompany Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War, on exhibit at the Branigan Cultural Center in December and January. For a full list of activities, see our webpage or facebook. The National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the exhibit with the help of a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): great ideas brought to life. The traveling exhibition is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s website at

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