What to Know About TIME's March on Washington VR Project

The March is a traveling exhibit that takes visitors on a groundbreaking virtual-reality journey to 1963.

As the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom came to a close, some of those who traveled to Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963, came away with a souvenir, a pin-back button on which a line drawing of the Capitol dome appeared above this simple declaration: “I WAS THERE.”

More than 200,000 people were, in fact, there—marching peacefully for equality, and bearing witness to the moment when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. As his words joined the ranks of American history’s most famous addresses, that day solidified King’s place in a nation’s memory.

Now, more than half a century later, there’s a new way to experience what those hundreds of thousands of people did: the new immersive virtual-reality project The March, which draws on the personal experiences of organizers and demonstrators. Through photogrammetry, motion capture and 3-D animation, participants will become a part of the March on Washington—able to say, in an entirely new way, that they were there too.

The centerpiece of The March, presented in partnership with the Estate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is the first-ever digital performance of the “I Have a Dream” speech, which will be delivered by the first-ever virtual depiction of King— the most lifelike rendering of a human performance in virtual reality to date, made possible by advanced VR, AI, film production processes and machine-learning techniques.

The March will debut as an experiential exhibit on Feb. 28, 2020, at Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History, the first independent African American history museum in the country.

To stay informed about The March, click here to sign up for TIME’s History newsletter

Take a peek behind the scenes at the creation of The March—and learn how the immersive experience is allowing a man who attended the 1963 demonstration to revisit that history with his great-grandson:

Click here to learn more about Rev. Joseph’s story.

Contact us at TheMarch@time.com.

More Must-Reads from TIME