Friday, November 6, 2009

The Orchard Street Shul Cultural Heritage Artist Project

A month from now, a very interesting exhibition will open in New Haven: The Orchard Street Shul Cultural Heritage Artist Project.

The project was, at the outset, spurred by an urgent need to make the public aware of efforts to save a community building that has been designated a Historic Site by the State of Connecticut. The project is without religious mission, but rather is the outpouring of thoughtful response and integrated research by those who found the story of this building and community to be compelling.

The members of the Orchard Street Shul Cultural Heritage Project began with varying levels of familiarity with the story of immigration to New Haven at the turn of the 20th century, and the shared history of working class neighborhoods during a time of radical change throughout the United States. Through the fluid exchange of research and resources within the group, all participants are now finding new meaning in the narrative of the community and surrounding neighborhood of the Orchard Street Shul.

One of the expected outcomes of the project is a dialogue among artists on the conceptual inspirations derived from interaction with the building, as a symbol of a community.

This could be a proto-type for similar future projects for other historic sites of meaning to other parts of our collective community and memory.

For more information visit the projects website. The exhibition opens on December 6th and we plan to introduce some of the artists on this website.

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