Sharing Today's DAR with Gilmore Girls Fans

Written by: Jennie Rehnberg, National Chair, DAR Museum Outreach
December 21, 2017

Back in October, the Connecticut Daughters had a unique opportunity to teach a new audience about today’s DAR, and it was such a successful event that the President General has asked me to write a blog post about the experience. I am so pleased to be able to tell you more about DAR being a part of the Gilmore Girls Fan Festival with our presentations, “What the DAR is really like – Could you be a Daughter?”

The Gilmore Girls was a TV show that originally ran from 2000-2007 that is now available on Netflix along with a four-part mini-series revival that was released last year. The much-loved series focused on a mother and daughter and their complex relationships with their family and friends in their quirky small town in Connecticut. There were some characters who were DAR members as well as plotlines surrounding DAR activities. While the depiction of the DAR on the show takes a number of liberties, the fictional inclusion on the show really did raise the visibility of our organization to many people who had not heard of the DAR before watching the show.

The popularity of the show and the recent revival led to a festival being organized that brings together Gilmore Girls fans from all over the country. It just so happens that this year’s Gilmore Girls Fan Festival was taking place in Kent, Connecticut – where I live! The founder of the festival really wanted to include the DAR in the activities and she was eventually put in touch with me to invite us to be involved. After consulting with other members I knew who were Gilmore Girls fans, and discussing the possibility with DAR Headquarters, we all agreed that it would be a great opportunity to spread awareness about the real DAR.

Check out photos here!

More than 1,500 of the television show’s die-hard fans (mostly women) streamed into our quaint town for the three days of Gilmore Girls-inspired activities. With the help of about 10 other Connecticut Daughters (and including Junior members from Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island!), we were honored to represent the DAR by giving presentations on the similarities and differences between the fictional portrayal of the organization on the television show and DAR members’ activities in real life. As a nod to one of the episodes with a DAR plotline, we raffled off a gift basket and raised more than $500 to be donated to the USO! We also held genealogy workshops and entered LOTS of Gilmore Girls fans into the prospective DAR member database!

It was an amazing experience getting to speak to so many women who were equally energized about learning about the DAR as they were about talking about the television show! By using the show’s fictional portrayal of the DAR as a jumping off point, we had some really great discussions about what the DAR is really like.

Participating in the Gilmore Girls Fan Fest really taught me that there are so many unique opportunities out there to find a positive way to share our DAR experiences with people who do not know much about our organization. Even in times when we are faced with stereotypes or misconceptions about the DAR, rather than get upset or be defensive, we can take the opportunity to turn those ideas upside down and share all the positive aspects of the DAR that we personally experience!

For those of you who have friends who always say to you “like the Gilmore Girls?” when you bring up the DAR, I’d be happy to share more information with you about our presentation if you want to throw your own Gilmore Girls party to teach people more about the DAR!

Hot off the presses, it was just announced a few days ago that the Gilmore Girls Fan Fest will be back in Kent next October 19-21, 2018. We will make sure to have a great DAR presence there again and hope to see some of you join! You can find more information on the event and how to get tickets at www.gilmoregirlsfanfest.com.

Of course, I also encourage all of you to find your own fun opportunities in your local communities to spread awareness about the DAR! 

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