SAVANNAH, GA – OCTOBER 6, 2023 – Telfair Museums, in partnership with Savannah State University, will host ‘Community in Conversation: Legacy of Slavery in Savannah’ from October 12 to October 14. These events are free and open to the public with the objective of encouraging the greater Savannah metropolitan area to engage in conversations about legacies of slavery in the community. This initiative is the culmination of community programs dating back to 2019 between Telfair Museums and other local organizations.
In September of 2019, Telfair Museums announced the ‘Legacy of Slavery in Savannah’ Initiative. This multifaceted effort engaged local Savannahians, artists, organizations, and scholars to examine the historical roots of present-day conditions of racial inequality and uncover dimensions of the black freedom struggles on Georgia’s coast that remain underexplored. From 2021 to 2022, Telfair Museums held various community events in partnership with local organizations including Deep Center, Fort Pulaski National Monument, Willow Hill Heritage & Renaissance Center, Georgia Southern University History and Anthropology Departments, Savannah State University, and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History – Savannah Yamacraw Branch (ASALH). To celebrate and share the initiative’s mission to engage in meaningful conversations, Telfair Museums is now partnering with Savannah State University to host a weekend of programming and festivities.
“We are excited about the collaborations that have blossomed through this initiative. We look forward to learning about our scholars’ research, listening to our community’s feedback, and considering impacts for future programs and partnerships,” said Ahmauri Williams-Alford, Assistant Curator of Historical Interpretation.
The weekend’s program will begin with a public kickoff celebration at Savannah State University at 6 pm on Thursday Oct.12, which will include food and a live performance from the SSU Marching Band. On Friday, Oct. 13 scholars from around the country will present at Savannah State University and engage with the community about their research findings. These findings will be published as ‘Legacy of Slavery in Savannah’ to highlight the diverse legacies of slavery in our region. Presentations and Panels will be held from 10 am to 4 pm, with advance registration for this free event at https://www.telfair.org/event/community-in-conversation/.
“Telfair Museums is pleased to join together with Savannah State University and other community partners to present the Community in Conversation. We are committed to serving our community through comprehensive programming, outreach, and research that will inform our patrons about the history and impact of slavery in Savannah,” said Benjamin T. Simons, Executive Director, and CEO.
To celebrate the conclusion of the initiative, Telfair Museums will host a Free Family Day on Saturday, October 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can enjoy free admission to all three of Telfair Museums’ sites. In addition to free admission, they will hold special programs including live local performances, engagement with community partner organizations, and curator-led tours of the art exhibitions Richmond Barthé: Harlem Renaissance Sculptor, Created Beasts: Sculpture by Ulysses Davis, and a curator-led tour of the Telfair Academy. Art activities for all ages will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. along with some delicious, cool treats provided by Savannah Square Pops. The day of fun will conclude with a family-friendly puppet parade around Telfair Square.
To register for ‘Community in Conversation: Legacy of Slavery in Savannah’ or learn more about Telfair Museums, please visit https://www.telfair.org/event/community-in-conversation/.
About Telfair Museums
Opening in 1886, Telfair Museums is the oldest public art museum in the South and the first U.S. museum founded by a woman. The museum features a world-class art collection in the heart of Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District and encompasses three sites: the Jepson Center for the Arts, the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, and the Telfair Academy. For more information on Telfair Museums, please visit www.telfair.org.
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