Kentucky Historical Society
KHS Explores Immigration in New Exhibition Opening April 21
Frankfort, KY - Immigration, a topic sparking debate across the country, is the focus of a new exhibition from the Kentucky Historical Society. Our New Kentucky Home: Immigrant Experiences opens on Saturday, April 21, and will remain on exhibit until March 28, 2008.
The Kentucky Historical Society presents this exhibition in its Keeneland Changing Exhibits Gallery at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History located at 100 West Broadway, Frankfort, KY. Hours of admission are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children ages 6-18.
Our New Kentucky Home: Immigrant Experiences tells stories of immigrants who come to Kentucky to create a better life for themselves and their families. The exhibition explores immigration throughout Kentucky’s history, from the early wave of settlement in the 1770s to today’s front pages. The exhibition is divided into four time periods: 1770s-1810s, 1820s-1850s, 1880s-1920s, and 1970s-present. Through artifacts, photographs, oral histories, and hands-on activities, visitors explore the everyday life and culture of immigrants to Kentucky and America. Welsh, German, Scots, Italian, Chinese, Lithuanian, German, Mexican, Bosnian, and other families are featured in the exhibition and in related programs.
"Although great diversity exists among Kentucky’s immigrants, there are striking similarities," says Michael Jones, curator of the exhibition. "All immigrants experience challenges and hardships, joys and successes as they settle in a new place. This exhibition shows the courage and tenacity of immigrants who uproot an established life to embark on an uncertain future. It also demonstrates how immigrants assimilate and how their presence changes their new surroundings."
"The exhibition considers the motivation of Kentucky’s immigrant families throughout our history. Hope to own land, find a better job, give their children greater opportunity, receive a good education, and enjoy religious freedom are common and continuing themes in the immigrant experience," says Marilyn Zoidis, the Kentucky Historical Society’s director of museum collections and exhibitions. "Our visitors are invited to tell their own family’s story and share their opinions about immigration in present-day America."
"Whether immigrants are pulled to Kentucky by the American Dream or pushed out of their native home by turmoil or persecution, they have come—and continue to arrive—for reasons that are universal," says Kent Whitworth, executive director of the Kentucky Historical Society. "These stories begin in other countries, but become Kentucky’s stories that make connections to the past, provide perspective on the present, and are inspiration for the future."
For more information, visit our Web site.
An agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, the Kentucky Historical Society, since 1836, has provided connections to the past, perspective on the present, and inspiration for the future. KHS operates the Old State Capitol, the Kentucky Military History Museum, and its headquarters, the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. Since 1999, the thirty-million- dollar Center has welcomed more than one million visitors. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit the Web site.