Historic Huguenot Street presents storytelling program inspired by writers’ personal encounters with history of slavery in New Paltz
Developed and presented with The Slave Dwelling Project and TMI Project
Saturday, September 16, 2017, 7:30 pm
Hear from the participants: https://youtu.be/2Jl8yrJsjU8
NEW PALTZ, NY (August 25, 2017) – Historic Huguenot Street (HHS), in partnership with The Slave Dwelling Project and TMI Project, will present “Reclaiming Our Time,” a public program of stories and monologues by writers responding to personal encounters with the history of slavery in New Paltz.
In June, six writers participated in TMI Project’s immersive program of workshops, beginning with an overnight stay in slaves’ quarters in a cellar kitchen on Huguenot Street with Terry James, living historian and board member of The Slave Dwelling Project. Outcomes of this transformative experience will be performed by the writers at the Reformed Church of New Paltz on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at 7:30 pm at 92 Historic Huguenot Street.
Through the program “Reclaiming Our Time,” TMI Project seeks to raise awareness of and inspire people to take action around issues of inequality and injustice through authentic storytelling. They focus on stories from marginalized populations, humanizing issues that are often overlooked in historic narratives. Participants were offered specific guidance for creating compelling stories, brainstorming sessions, feedback during monologue development, and editing of their final works.
“This project presents an important opportunity for the community to engage in critical dialogue,” added Dr. A.J. Williams-Myers, Historic Huguenot Street trustee and professor emeritus, SUNY New Paltz. “Audience and readers, together, will reclaim or ‘correct’ the history of those enslaved in New Paltz by amplifying their often-unheard stories. If, as a community, we are willing to face and learn from our history of racial slavery, understanding the gripping truth might enable us to move forward together. HHS is the only other museum in the country to host a second overnight with The Slave Dwelling Project—the second was Jefferson’s Monticello.”
“HHS is not just ’checking a box’ on their commitment to telling stories of the enslaved here,” said James. “HHS has integrated these stories into their daily programming and exhibitions. The TMI Project exemplifies their ongoing dedication to truth-telling. HHS is also preserving these historic slave dwellings vital to our understanding of racial slavery.”
“What an indescribable shared experience,” said Eva Tenuto, co-founder and executive director of TMI Project. “We all left with a deepened connection to the past and to each other. TMI Project remains grateful for the rare opportunity to capture the stories inspired by our stay in the cellar where enslaved Africans were forced to reside.”
General admission is $10; registration is available at huguenotstreet.org/tmi.
This event is sponsored by a Humanities New York Action Grant, the DuBois Family Association, and the Reformed Church of New Paltz.
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.
About Historic Huguenot Street
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 Department of Education, 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 and inhabitants, from the sixteenth century to today.
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