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Rose Center Exhibit Project Makes Lasting Impact

The Rose Center Council for the Arts in Morristown hosted Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1964 for six weeks this spring. Through a series of eight public events building on the exhibit themes, the Center was able to bring over 650 people through their doors—many for the first time—and to create and cultivate partnerships with community organizations, Spanish language newspapers, Latino churches and businesses. These new relationships have already yielded plans for a Latino Food Festival at the Center this fall.
Morristown demographics are changing rapidly—fully 25 percent of kindergarteners are Latino. Thus, as project coordinator Beccy Hamm states, the Center “hoped to engage the Latino community and give them an opportunity to share their stories, and also to educate the larger community about issues related to migrant farm work and immigration.” The Center considers this goal accomplished by a number of project events tailored for a wide variety of audiences. For example, the Center is the first project site to host our public discussion program, “Life on the Fence,” in Spanish, drawing 25 Spanish speakers into this local, and national, conversation.
According to Hamm, in addition to reaching public education goals, the Center also flexed its capacity “as a place for the community to gather, discuss important issues, and enjoy cross-cultural events.” Between audience building, new partnerships, and future plans, the Center reached one of our primary goals in providing programs—enriching the role of organizations within community life through the humanities.
Humanities Tennessee is thrilled by the investment of the Rose Center in the Bittersweet Harvest project, and in awe of the accomplishments—their project is truly a model for future exhibit hosts.
Bittersweet Harvest is on view at the Greeneville-Greene County Museum through July 19th, and moves to Arts in McNairy, Selmer, TN, August 2-30.