Pieces of Now: Murals, Masks Community Stories and Conversation was developed in response to the events of May/June 2020 and our community’s need for expression, an arena for discussion, and importantly, the need to be heard. Our “History Happening Now” documentation and preservation initiative that had begun in March as primarily a pandemic story, pivoted in June 2020 to became a DEAI project, focusing on issues of racial reckoning and social justice. We began actively gathering stories and virtual programming around our community’s response to the murder of George Floyd. This included material culture and oral histories related to the protests and large murals that went up in Greensboro following looting. We provided robust digital content and online programming and following the opening of the physical exhibition, a virtual reality experience available on our website.
GHM Marching Together Video Screenshot
We have created spaces, physically and virtually, where conversations that began on the street can continue—about race, equity and inclusion. The artists and protestors participated not only by sharing their stories, clothing and artwork, but through a series of zoom webinars, podcasts and YouTube videos. We have developed experiential spaces of empathy. It is about Now. It is also unfinished, because we are in the middle of the story. People are telling their own narratives and we are making meaning together. By embracing the disruption of our normal procedures we have been able to disrupt the perceptions in our community about what an established city history museum is about. And whose stories it tells.
GHM Website Pieces of Now Screen Shot
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