Connecticut residents with an opinion on how the state – and its local communities - can best celebrate Connecticut’s history are being given an opportunity to share their views by the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS), which has launched Community History Tour 2014 in an effort to build deeper relationships with local communities throughout the state.
CHS is conducting nine regional town hall-style discussions, hosted by local organizations, with the public and area organizations with an interest in history encouraged to participate. With an active heritage organization in nearly every one of the state's 169 towns, the CHS has aspirations to build stronger bridges with local Connecticut residents throughout the state.
The purpose of the listening tour is to engage local organizations and residents in a broad statewide conversation exploring how to celebrate the state’s history in ways that are relevant to today’s audiences.
The sessions kicked-off on February 11 at the Stanley-Whitman House in Farmington, and the next session will be on Monday, March 3 in Hartford at CHS. It will be followed by open meetings in New Haven, Willimantic, Fairfield, Greenwich, Waterbury, Old Lyme and Litchfield over the next two months.
"Connecticut is a state rich in history," says Jody Blankenship, director at CHS, "and we know people like to experience history in different ways. We want to better understand how the state's communities feel about that. Do they want to see more or less of it? How do they want to see that happen, and how can we help? We're ready for a no-holds-barred conversation."
The Connecticut Historical Society is a private, not-for-profit museum, library, research and educational center. The organization’s mission is to inspire and foster a life-long interest in history through exhibitions, programs, and Connecticut-related collections. The CHS website notes that “improving knowledge of the past enhances understanding of the present and the ability to meet the challenges of the future.”
Founded in 1825, the Connecticut Historical Society houses an extensive and comprehensive Connecticut-related collection of manuscripts, printed material, artifacts and images that document social, cultural, and family history. It is located in Hartford.
"Our goal is to better understand what makes each community special and how the history of that town or area is integrated into the Connecticut fabric. The best way to do that is ask those who are passionate to tell us," Blankenship added.
Community History Tour 2014 Dates and Locations: (All meetings occur at 4:30pm, unless otherwise indicated.)
February 11: Stanley-Whitman House, Farmington March 3: Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford March 10: New Haven Museum, New Haven March 15: Windham Textile Museum, Willimantic, 11:00am March 31: Fairfield Museum, Fairfield April 7: Greenwich Historical Society, Greenwich April 8: Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury April 15: Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme April 21: Litchfield Historical Society, Litchfield