TMI Project’s #BlackStoriesMatter Writers and Others to Participate in
Slave Dwelling Project Overnight on Huguenot Street
NEW PALTZ, NY (June 1, 2017) – In honor of Juneteenth, Historic Huguenot Street, in partnership with The Slave Dwelling Project, has invited TMI Project to participate in an overnight stay in one of the Museum’s historic slave cellars. Representatives from The Slave Dwelling Project travel throughout the country spending the night in historic slave dwellings to bring awareness to their existence, history, and need for preservation.
Though the organization has visited dozens of slave dwellings, only 5 of these overnight stays have been at sites in Northern states. This will be the project’s second visit to Historic Huguenot Street, following an overnight stay in September 2016.
Terry James, living historian and Board Member of The Slave Dwelling Project, has slept in over 40 slave dwellings – while wearing antebellum wrist shackles – to commemorate the enslaved ancestors who survived the Middle Passage. On the evening of June 17, Mr. James will spend the night in a Huguenot Street slave cellar with writers from TMI Project’s #BlackStoriesMatter program as well as other participants. #BlackStoriesMatter seeks to raise awareness of and inspire people to take action around issues of inequality and injustice through true storytelling.
TMI Project is a non-profit organization offering transformative memoir and monologue writing workshops and performances designed to invite storytellers and audience members to explore new perspectives. Through true storytelling, TMI Project focuses the spotlight on stories told by people from marginalized populations, humanizing issues that are often overlooked by mainstream media. Beginning on June 16, six participating writers will begin a series of 10 workshops, the first of which will include an introduction to Historic Huguenot Street and a discussion of expectations for the overnight. Writers will also participate in workshops with Mr. James both before and immediately following the experience to explore the significance and purpose of the overnight visit.
Through TMI Project’s workshops, participants will be offered specific guidance for creating compelling stories, guided writing prompts, brainstorming sessions, feedback during monologue development, and editing of their final works. Writers will then gather for a rehearsal and receive tips for delivering their stories live, with impact. These stories will be performed at Historic Huguenot Street on Saturday, September 16. Tickets for this live performance will be available to purchase online beginning June 17.
“We are honored to offer our skills to help document this unique and important experience in partnership with The Slave Dwelling Project,” said TMI Project Executive Director Eva Tenuto. “Storytelling facilitates social movement building – that is incredibly important at this moment in history when social injustice, inequality, discrimination, and related violence are on the rise.”
This event is sponsored by a Humanities New York Action Grant. Tickets for the live performance will become available soon.
A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 New Paltz settlement, including seven stone houses that date to the early eighteenth century. It was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve the nationally acclaimed collection of stone houses. Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today.
About The Slave Dwelling Project
The Slave Dwelling Project is a State of South Carolina 501(c )3 non-profit organization with a mission to identify and assist property owners, government agencies, and organizations to preserve extant slave dwellings, serving as a conduit for the identification of preservation resources for owners of slave dwellings. The Slave Dwelling Project’s goal is to bring historians, students, faculty, writers, legislators, organizations, corporations, artists, and the general public together to educate, collaborate, and organize resources to save these important artifacts of American history.
About TMI Project
TMI Project is a non-profit organization offering transformative memoir workshops and performances that invite storytellers and audience members to explore new perspectives. TMI Project envisions a world where true storytelling is an agent of change; where, through the sharing of radically candid, true personal narratives, everyone – storytellers and listeners alike – can become empowered, release shame and stigma, and replace old understandings with new ones. We aspire to incite social, legal, and political change by arming activists with skills needed to be captivating storytellers and by amplifying the voices of populations whose stories often go unheard, and to engender compassion, understanding and public awareness of issues that are often overlooked by mainstream media.
Director of Marketing & Communications