As of Saturday, March 14 the John Brown House Museum, Museum of Work & Culture, Aldrich House, and Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center will be temporarily closed until further notice. All programs and events have been moved to virtual formats, postponed, or canceled. Please see our events calendar for updates. Thank you for your understanding.

Museum of Work & Culture to Launch Free Lecture Series January 14

Beginning January 14, the Museum of Work & Culture will host Valley Talks, a series of biweekly historical lectures. All talks are free and take place at 1:30pm at the Museum of Work & Culture.

The series will kick off with artist Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez and the Colombian American Cultural Society of Rhode Island as they present on the Colombian community’s contributions to the Blackstone Valley’s textile industry. Seating is limited to 75 and is first come, first served. The talk is presented in conjunction with the MoWC’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. The exhibit, on display through Feb. 28, and talk are a collaboration with the Colombian American Cultural Society of Rhode Island and AS220, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts’ ArtWorksprogram.

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.

Other Valley Talks will include:

January 28: RIHS Executive Director C. Morgan Grefe discusses the history of triple deckers, why they became so popular in New England, and their relationship to local manufacturing.

February 11: Documentary filmmaker Joseph Lyons screens his latest film chronicling the industrial history of the Blackstone Valley by cycling through its historic sites.

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.

March 11: Writer and  historical reenactor Paul Bourget explores the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln and what became of those who conspired in the deed.

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