LHC and partners awarded an Essex National Heritage Area "Pioneer in Partnership" Award on October 12, 2023

Essex National Heritage Area awardee
L-R (front row): Sara Morin Barth (President, Lawrence History Center), Ashley Rosario (Graphic Artist, Elevated Thought); L-R (back row): Annie Harris (Executive Director, ENHA), Jim Beauchesne (President, Friends of Lawrence Heritage State Park), Susan Grabski (Executive Director, Lawrence History Center), David Read (President, ENHA)

Lawrence History Center is honored to have received an Essex National Heritage Area "Pioneer in Partnership" Award, along with our partners the Friends of the Lawrence Heritage State Park, Elevated Thought, and the Lawrence community for our work on:

Somos Latinos: Our Journey to Lawrence & Beyond / Nuestro Viaje a Lawrence y Más
This award recognizes a partnership between Lawrence History Center, Friends of Lawrence Heritage State Park, Elevated Thought, and members of the Lawrence community, who worked together to create the public exhibit documenting the history of Latino immigration in the city that was first put on display at the Lawrence Heritage State Park Visitor Center in June 2023. Sara Morin Barth, director of the community content team and current president of Lawrence History Center; Susan Grabski, director of Lawrence History Center and board treasurer of the Friends of Lawrence Heritage State Park; and nine other community members conducted extensive archival research and utilized local oral histories to select quotes, stories, and images to tell this rich history. Ashley Rosario, graphic designer from Elevated Thought, then poured curated content into visual displays that beautifully convey the experiences of community members. Post World War II, the city of Lawrence was confronted with the impact of deindustrialization and suburbanization as its economic staple, the textile industry, left the city. After several decades of slower immigration, in the 1950s Latinos began to arrive and the economic and cultural reinvigoration in Lawrence began. The exhibit traces how people from such places as Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic came to the city to find work, education, and better lives for their families. The city’s Latino population grew to the point that today, according to census and school data, 82% of Lawrence’s residents are Hispanic. This project reflects both challenging times in this history as well as the beauty and vitality of Latino heritage, as recounted by Lawrencians themselves. The exhibit is in English and Spanish, with both languages receiving equal emphasis. It is currently travelling in the region to expand its reach, after which it will return to the Lawrence Heritage State Park.

The Essex Heritage Fall Annual Meeting was held at Meredith Farm in Topsfield on Thursday, October 12, 2023. ----- The Somos Latinos exhibit (https://friendsoflawrenceheritage.org/programs/somoslatinos/) was sponsored by the Friends of the Lawrence Heritage State Park and created in partnership with the Lawrence community, the Lawrence History Center , and Nobis Project with funding from Mass Humanities and Mass Cultural Council through the Expand Massachusetts Stories initiative, the Lawrence Cultural Council , Catherine McCarthy Memorial Trust, The White Fund, the Nathaniel and Elizabeth P. Stevens Foundation, and the Rosman Family Fund of the Essex County Community Foundation.