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Bellingham Bulletin

Museum of Work & Culture Continues its Free Lecture Series

Jan 22, 2018 03:23PM ● By Pamela Johnson
 (WOONSOCKET, R.I.)  On January 28, The Museum of Work & Culture will continue its "Valley Talks," a series of biweekly historical lectures. All talks are free and take place at on Sundays, at 1:30 pm, at the Museum of Work & Culture, located at 42 S. Main St., Woonsocket, RI. Seating is limited to 75 and is first come, first served. (Note: Free on-site parking available; all facilities & exhibits are wheelchair accessible.)

Rhode Island Historical Society Executive Director Dr. C. Morgan Grefe presented “The Triple-Decker Menace,” exploring the history of the the three-story housing so distinct to New England on January 28. Grefe discussed the precursors of triple-deckers, their evolution, why they became so prevalent in New England, and their relationship to both industry and immigration.

On February 11, documentary filmmaker Joseph Lyons will screen his latest film chronicling the industrial history of the Blackstone Valley by cycling through its historic sites. Then, on February 25, writer and professor Cedric de Leon presents on the origins of right-to-work laws and their significance for the contemporary labor movement.

The series was kicked off on January 14 with artist Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez and the Colombian American Cultural Society of Rhode Island as they presented on the Colombian community’s contributions to the Blackstone Valley’s textile industry, and the ways that museums and other institutions played a role in uplifting or submerging histories through storytelling within their permanent exhibits. The talk was presented in conjunction with the Museum’s current gallery exhibit, Sonidos: Some of Our Stories, which uses sound to interweave stories of contemporary Colombian life in Rhode Island with the history of multiple waves of immigration, beginning with Colombian’s contributions to the Blackstone Valley’s textile industry in the 1960s. The exhibit will be on display through February 28.

Sánchez is a Colombian Providence-based visual artist, performance artist, and educator. His current work leverages his own archive of encounters between his body and the states that claim him, to investigate (re-)performances of memory and cultural, familial, and governmental rituals. His work has appeared in spaces including the RISD Museum (Providence), the Morgan Library & Museum (Manhattan), and the PHI Centre (Montreal). He is a resident artist at AS220 in Providence, and is a member of the 2012 EmergeNYC cohort at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics.

The final presentation will take place on March 11, when writer and  historical reenactor Paul Bourget will explore the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln and what became of those who conspired in the deed.

About the Museum of Work & Culture:

The interactive and educational Museum of Work & Culture shares the stories of the men, women, and children who came to find a better life in Rhode Island’s mill towns in the late 19th- and 20th centuries. It recently received a Rhode Island Monthly Best of Rhode Island Award for its SensAbilities Saturdays all-ability program.


For more information, call 401-769-WORK (-9675) or visit www.rihs.org/museums/museum-of-work-and-culture.

 About the Rhode Island Historical Society:

Founded in 1822, the RIHS, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is the fourth-oldest historical society in the United States and is Rhode Island’s largest and oldest historical organization. In Providence, the RIHS owns and operates the John Brown House Museum, a designated National Historic Landmark, built in 1788; the Aldrich House, built in 1822 and used for administration and public programs; and the Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center, where archival, book and image collections are housed. In Woonsocket, the RIHS manages the Museum of Work and Culture, a community museum examining the industrial history of northern Rhode Island and of the workers and settlers, especially French-Canadians, who made it one of the state’s most distinctive areas.

 

 

 

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