The Museum-For-A-Week


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The Museum-For-A-Week was an outgrowth of a series of Saturday morning workshops,entitled One Space, Many Places, held at William Hall Free Library, Cranston. In these workshops, adults and children explored Pawtuxet Village through walking tours, scavenger hunts, map making, writing about favorite places, photography, drawing, oral histories, old photographs, and research at the Providence Public Library. Participants in the workshops produced present day as well as historical maps of the area known as Pawtuxet Village.

The "museum" inspired many Pawtuxet residents to celebrate the sense of community that makes Pawtuxet Village a unique place to live. They loaned objects, maps, books, newspaper clippings, postcards, and other artifacts that provided wonderful glimpses into a shared history. Some Pawtuxet residents even contributed their remembrances on audiotape. To enliven the historical maps that were being created for the One Space, Many Places project, younger residents and new comers were invited to read and examine the materials gathered at the museum and to add images and text addressing something about village history that interested them.

In the evening of what was scheduled to be the final day of the Museum's existence (Wednesday, December 15, 2004), there was a celebratory reception. But talk of the Museum's demise was premature, as the community response was so great that the planned one week was extended until the end of the month, with villagers volunteering as curators at the Museum.

The collection of artifacts and information that made up the Museum-For-A-Week was assembled with loans from Sam Beck, Henry and Ann Brown, Lois Eagen, Holly Ewald, Ed Greer, Janet Hartman, Frank Knight, Ginny Leslie, and Madaleine Toy. Other contributors to the project included Susanne Benoit, Grace Clark, John Cory, Pat Huntington, Robert O. Jones, and Jeff St. Germaine. Wonderful refreshments were donated by Eli Najjar of Water's Edge and Amy Walsh and Kelly Weiss of Sweet and Savory. Marilyn BouRamia of Your Home or Mine graciously loaned a comfortable reading chair. Last, but certainly not least, the Albanese family gave the museum a temporary home where Charlotte's Boutique used to be. This all-volunteer effort was an outgrowth of projects funded by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, and the Cranston Public Library.