Sumner Hall Open for Tea Party Festival

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Sumner Hall  (G.A.R. Post #25) invites the public to participate in several  Chestertown Tea Party Festival Activities.

On Friday, May 26, Sumner Hall will be open from 4 to 9 p.m.  In addition to the

Marlon Saunders

exhibition  The Black Labor Experience in Kent County and Stories of Kent County African American Veterans of the Civil War, the video of Choppin’ at the Shop by Marlon Saunders & Friends will be shown at 5 and 7 p.m. 

Sumner Hall will also be open on Saturday, May 27 from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.  The Marlon Saunders video will be shown at 10 a.m, 1 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m.

At noon on Monday, May 29 commemorative wreaths will be laid in Memorial Park to honor the service of fallen soldiers, following the Decoration Day tradition established by the members of the G.A. R. after the U.S. Civil War.

Sumner Hall is located at 206 S. Queen  St., Chestertown.

 

Maryland Humanities Announces Next Stop of Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition

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Maryland Humanities is pleased to announce that its statewide tour of The Way We Worked, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, will move to its second stop in Chestertown on March 31. Sumner Hall (G.A.R. Post #25) will host the exhibition and along with its principal partner, Washington College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, will feature companion exhibits and programming across the county highlighting Kent County’s work history.

The grand opening on March 31 will feature a reception and preview party honoring exhibition producers, organizers, sponsors, partners, elected officials, and community volunteers, as well as a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The preview party will be held from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Sultana Education Foundation, located just two blocks away from Sumner Hall. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. on the front steps of Sumner Hall. After the ceremony, participants will be invited to preview the exhibition in small groups.      

The companion exhibition at Sumner Hall, The Black Labor Experience in Kent County, will feature four displays:  (1) theStory of the Founders of Sumner Hall and the 471 African Americans who served with the Union forces during the Civil War;  (2) an exploration of the contribution of Free and Enslaved Labor in Kent County – from the Revolutionary War-era through the end of the 19th Century; (3) Tools of the Trades:  a display of traditional farm, fishing, household, and office “tools” used in Kent County; and (4) contemporary stories – Oral Work Histories  of Community Members.  There will also be a Kids Corner with hands-on activities for young children. 

The C. V. Starr Center is also offering three special events:  (1) a keynote lecture by Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed:  On (Not) Getting By in America; (2) Choppin’ at the Shop  – an original multimedia work of music, the art of conversation, and photography as it relates to African Americans who work or have worked in Kent County; and (3) A Walk Through Working Chestertown.  In addition, more than fifteen other venues across the county are hosting exhibits, lectures, and programs celebrating workers in the community. 

Nina Johnson, executive director of Sumner Hall, said:  “Hosting this exhibition has given us a unique opportunity to explore the rich history of the way we have worked in our communities across Kent County.   The Museum on Main Street project has allowed our community to come together in creative ways to identify individual stories and to document them. It has been a rewarding experience to see how our collaboration with Washington College, the Kent County Public Schools, the Historical Society of Kent County, the Sultana Educational Foundation, the Museums of Kent, the Kent County Public Library, and other local organizations and businesses has resulted in an exciting menu of educational and cultural programs across the county. While we are proud of all these offerings, our companion exhibition that showcases the contributions of Kent County African American workers from the 1650s to the present is especially important. The Way We Worked initiative has truly been a ‘win-win’ experience for everyone!”

“We’re delighted to bring The Way We Worked to five small communities across the state and celebrate Maryland’s diverse and engaging work history, from the paper and steel mills of the 19th Century to the technology boom of today. We hope you’ll join us in exploring the rich local history unearthed through each community’s companion exhibit and programming,” said Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities.

The Way We Worked will be on view at Sumner Hall March 31–May 20, 2017. Sumner Hall is located at 206 South Queen Street in Chestertown, Maryland. Learn more at sumnerhall.org.

Environmental Series Announces Shore Homesteading Series

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How do we value food? North America alone throws away billions of dollars worth of food every year- from farms, retail operations, and the back of your refrigerator.  Statistics show that nearly 50% of food is wasted. Follow “Just Eat It” filmmakers Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin in a story that is equal parts documentary and delicious entertainment. The film will be shown on Thursday, September 1, 6:30 pm at Sumner Hall, 206 Queen Street in Chestertown. You will never look at shopping cart in the same way.

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“Just Eat It” has won numerous awards, and was a finalist for the James Beard Awards.  It is part of the new Shore Homesteading Series, presented by the Chestertown Environmental Committee, and designed to inspire lifestyles to support the ecological health of our community. The series consists of films, how-to talks, workshops, and foodie events, and will be held at different locations. For a listing of events, and for more information, visit  http://www.chestertown.com/environment.

The Shore Homesteading Series is free and open to the public. It continues September 20, with, “Growing and Cooking with Herbs,” a talk on spicing up local food, 6:30 pm at the Chestertown Town Hall, 118 North Cross Street. The series is curated by Margo Bailey, and Shane Brill, and is sponsored by the Town of Chestertown.

Environmental Series Continues with Talk on Conservation Landscaping

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Lyle AlmondInterested in creating a more ecological woodland garden?   On Thursday, July 7, 6:30 pm at Sumner Hall, Lyle Almond, Forest Stewardship Educator with the University of Maryland Extension Service, will discuss the eight essentials of Conservation Landscaping, and aesthetic and ecological principals of woodland gardening- targeted at owners of 1 to 10 acres of wooded property.

In addition to assisting landowners with design and management, Almond is also the Maryland/Delaware Master Logger Program Coordinator, and writes a monthly column, TreeTips, for The Delmarva Farmer.  He studied Pro Silva Forestry on a Fulbright Scholarship in Europe, and has a Professional Certificate in Landscape Design from the University of Richmond at Lewis Ginger Botanic Garden.

The Chestertown Environmental Series lectures and films are free and open to the public.  They are held the first Thursday of each month, 6:30 pm at Sumner Hall, 206 South Queen St.  In Chestertown.  The series continues on August 4 with the film, “Blue Gold.” The world’s supply of fresh water is dwindling rapidly.  Will future wars be fought over water, not fossil fuels?  The series is curated by Margo Bailey, and is sponsored by the Town of Chestertown.  For more information, go to http://www.chestertown.com/environment.

Music in Park & Sumner Hall Celebrate Juneteenth Day

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sumner hallThis year marks the 150th “Juneteenth” day – the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. Please join us on Saturday, 18 June, 2016 to celebrate Juneteenth – “Under the Tent” – across the street from Sumner Hall at 206 South Queen Street, Chestertown, MD.

This day of Tribute, Entertainment and Fun for All Ages begins at 10:30 AM with a short Welcoming Ceremony followed by a parade from Sumner Hall to Memorial Park where members of the Buffalo Soldiers Cavalry Scouts MC Troop 1 (Delaware) will lay a wreath to honor fallen heroes.

The afternoon’s program, from12:30 pm – 6:00 pm, features live jazz and Gospel music interspersed with inspirational talks and poetry readings. Scheduled musical performances include the Blues-Keepers Band, The Bratcher Project, The New Gospelites, Andre Sisco, God’s Wealth, and The Pilgrim Travellers.

Professor Clara Small, historian and author of several Compass Points books, will share biographical stories of prominent African Americans from the Eastern Shore. Robert Earl Price, Artistic Director of Sumner Hall, will read from his poetry and Cameron McCoy, a young orator, will address the group.

There’s also lots of activities for kids – including crafts, games, dance contest and a bouncy castle.

First observed in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1866, Juneteenth Day became more widely celebrated as African Americans migrated across the county. Today, 41 states and territories, including Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, recognize Juneteenth as a State Holiday.

“We hope that everyone will join in the celebration of this day!” said Nina Johnson, President of the Board of Directors of Sumner Hall. “Come by anytime to hear a favorite performer, enjoy some wonderful food and relax with family and friends.”

Also available: food and merchandise vendors, a Kids Corner, raffle drawings and exhibits at Sumner Hall. For more information on Sumner Hall, Grand Army of the Republic Post # 25, please visit http://garpost25.org/

Schedule
10:30am – Welcome and Opening Ceremonies
11:00am – Parade from Sumner Hall to Memorial Park and Placing of Wreath to Honor Fallen Heroes by Members of Buffalo Soldiers Cavalry Scouts MC, Troop 1, Delaware
12:30pm – Proclamation and Recognition of Key Sponsors, Partners and Supporters
1:00pm – Music by the Blues Keepers Band
1:20pm – Poetry Reading by Robert Earl Price
1:30pm – African Americans of the Eastern Shore by Dr. Clara Small sharing stories documented in her Compass Points Books
2:00pm – Gospel Music by the Pilgrim Travelers
2:30pm – Jazz by The Bratcher Project
4:00pm – Speaker Cameron McCoy
4:30pm – Gospel Music by the New Gospelites
5:00pm – Music by Andre Sisco
6:00pm – Closing Ceremonies

Juneteenth Celebration “Under the Tent”

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sumner hallSumner Hall is inviting the whole community to celebrate Juneteenth – “Under the Tent” – across the street from Sumner Hall on South Queen Street.

This day of Tribute, Entertainment and Fun for All Ages begins at 10:30 AM with a short Welcoming Ceremony followed by a parade from Sumner Hall to Memorial Park where members of the Buffalo Soldiers Cavalry Scouts MC Troop 1 (Delaware) will lay a wreath to honor fallen heroes.

The afternoon’s program, that runs from 12:30 pm- 6:00 pm, features live jazz and Gospel music interspersed with inspirational talks and poetry readings. Scheduled musical performances include The Bratcher Project, the Blues-Keepers Band, The New Gospelites, Andre Sisco and The Pilgrim Travellers. Professor Clara Small, historian and author of the Compass Points books, will share biographical stories of prominent African Americans from the Eastern Shore. Robert Earl Price, Artistic Director of Sumner Hall, will offer a poetry reading and Cameron McCoy, a young orator, will also address the group.

Also available: food and merchandise vendors, a Kids Corner, raffle drawings and exhibits at Sumner Hall.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. First observed in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1866, it became more widely celebrated as African Americans migrated across the county. Today, 41 states and territories, including Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, recognize Juneteenth as a State Holiday.

Members of the Buffalo Soldiers Cavalry Scouts (Motor Cycle Troup #1, Delaware) are once again participating in Chestertown’s celebration. They will lead a short tribute to fallen heroes and place a wreath to honor them at Memorial Park.

“We hope that everyone will join in the celebration of this day!” said Nina Johnson, President of the Board of Directors of Sumner Hall. “Come by anytime to hear a favorite performer, enjoy some wonderful food and relax with family and friends.”

For more information, please call 443 282 0023 or visit our website www.garpost25.org.

Smithsonian Institution Comes to Sumner Hall Next Year

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Maryland Humanities has chosen five sites to host “The Way We Worked,” a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition, which will tour throughout Maryland from February to November 2017 and showcase Maryland’s unique work stories and history. The host sites include Brunswick Heritage Museum in Brunswick, Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster, Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Post # 25: Sumner Hall in Chestertown, Salisbury University Art Galleries in Salisbury, and Western Maryland Heritage Association in Cumberland.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 7.48.15 AMThe Way We Worked is the fifth Museum on Main Street (MoMS) project brought to small communities throughout Maryland by Maryland Humanities. Adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives, the Way We Worked explores how work became such a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years. Each of the five sites chosen will host the exhibit for six weeks and develop a complementary exhibit highlighting their community’s local work stories and histories. Local exhibits and related programming will highlight the often-untold stories of people in each host site’s community.

“The sites chosen celebrate Maryland’s diverse and engaging work history, from the paper and steel mills of the 19th Century to the technology boom of today. We can’t wait to explore the rich local history unearthed through each community’s companion exhibit and programming,” said Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities.

The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Post # 25: Sumner Hall will host the exhibit in Chestertown with partners that include C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College, Downtown Chestertown Initiative, Sultana Education Foundation, Kent County Public Library, Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board, and Kent County Schools.

Nina Johnson, president of the Board of Directors of Sumner Hall, said: “We are thrilled to have been designated as one of the Maryland sites to host The Way We Worked exhibition! Sumner Hall and the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College—along with our other great partners—expect to create a real celebration to honor all workers in our community while the exhibition is in Chestertown. And we look forward to engaging a wide range of citizens and visitors at our museum, the former home of the African-American Civil War Veterans of Charles Sumner Post #25, Grand Army of the Republic.”

Tour Schedule:

February 3–March 24, 2017 Western Maryland Heritage Association, Cumberland, Allegany County
March 31–May 19, 2017 Sumner Hall (G.A.R. Post 15), Chestertown, Kent County
May 26–July 14, 2017 Carroll County Farm Museum, Westminster, Carroll County
July 21–September 8, 2017 Brunswick Heritage Museum, Brunswick, Frederick County
September 15–November 3, 2017 Salisbury University Art Galleries, Salisbury, Wicomico County