Cornwall Historical Society Receives $11,386 Planning Grant from CT Humanities
Cornwall, Conn. (January 6, 2022) — The Cornwall Historical Society is pleased to announce it has received a grant in the amount of $11,386 from Connecticut Humanities (CTH). The funds will support the research and planning phase of the Society’s new exhibition Finding Freeman(s): Freedom, Property, and Identity in Cornwall, scheduled to open in the summer of 2022.
The exhibition will be a first time look at the town’s free and enslaved Black residents and that community’s impact on Cornwall’s history as well as its future. “Finding Freeman(s)” will be guest curated by Dr. Frank Mitchell, director emeritus of the Amistad Center for Art and Culture in Hartford.
“Finding Freedman(s) was inspired in part by George Floyd’s death in 2020,” said Suzie Fateh, the Society’s curator. “Although research on Cornwall’s Black residents began before Floyd’s murder, in the months following staff and the Board saw an immediate need for transforming the research project into an exhibition. As an historical society with collections that span almost 300 years, it is our mission and responsibility to ensure that our exhibitions and programming accurately reflect the history of Cornwall and the region. This grant will ensure the resources necessary to prepare for the exhibition and programs that will change perception of Cornwall’s history. We are extremely fortunate to have Frank as our guest curator — he will play a central role in guiding the development of this exhibition.”
Black and Native residents created a world in 18th and 19th century Cornwall and, as is true for so many Connecticut towns, these residents and their stories disappear by the early 20th century. This exhibition will offer visitors an alternative to the standard history that we know.
About Connecticut Humanities: Connecticut Humanities (CTH) is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. CTH connects people to the humanities through grants, partnerships, and collaborative programs. CTH projects, administration, and program development are supported by state and federal matching funds, community foundations and gifts from private sources. Learn more by visiting cthumanities.org.