Historic Huguenot Street Wins 2017 Award of Excellence
from Greater Hudson Heritage Network
NEW PALTZ, NY (October 20, 2017) – Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) is pleased to announce that it has been named one of the winners of the 2017 Awards of Excellence from Greater Hudson Heritage Network. The award was in recognition of Huguenot Street’s event Juneteenth: A Celebration of African Culture, Music, and Cuisine as well as its follow-up event, Reclaiming our Time. The Awards of Excellence are given to projects that show creative vision in the preservation the history, culture, and diversity of the region.
The organization’s Juneteenth celebration was held in honor of June 19, 1865, the day Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, carrying news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved had been freed. The event featured African American cuisine from local Chef Brandon Walker and culinary historian Michael W. Twitty, folk and gospel music from musician and storyteller Kim Harris, traditional West African drumming by Melody Africa, and words from Terry James, board member of The Slave Dwelling Project. James has slept in over 40 slave dwellings to remember the enslaved ancestors who survived the Middle Passage, and to bring awareness to the existence of historic slave dwellings and their need for preservation.
After the event, Terry James spent the night in a historic cellar kitchen on Huguenot Street along with writers from TMI Project, a non-profit organization that offers transformative memoir and monologue writing workshops and performances that invite storytellers and audience members to explore new perspectives.
TMI Project returned to Huguenot Street in September to recount experiences from their overnight stay. This event, entitled Reclaiming Our Time, was presented in partnership with The Slave Dwelling Project and TMI Project. “By being there, I can at least honor those who actually slept there,” said Micah Blumenthal, one of the participating writers. “I know that in some place in time, and in that space, those people - my people - were enslaved there.”
Accepting the Award of Excellence were Kara Gaffken, Director of Public Programming; Mary Etta Schneider, Board Chair; and Josephine Bloodgood, Director of Curatorial & Preservation Affairs. “Huguenot Street is honored to receive recognition for our Juneteenth program,” said Kara Gaffken, who produced and developed the event. “We are moved that the stories of the enslaved are recognized and appreciated by Greater Hudson Heritage Network. Historic Huguenot Street will remain committed to preserving historic slave dwellings that connect us to the past.”
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 comprising the heart of the original 1678 New Paltz settlement, including seven stone houses dating to the early eighteenth century. Historic Huguenot Street 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, preserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families from the seventeenth century to today.
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