Lowell, MA –"Growing Up Portuguese in Lowell," a talk by five Portuguese-Americans: Kevin Correa, Richard DeFreitas, Bea Silva Hogan, John Leite, Herbert Pitta, whose family origins in Lowell harken back to early 20th century, when their ancestors immigrated in search of work in the textile mills and the American Dream.
This facilitated panel discussion will illuminate personal stories, experiences, and influences in Lowell’s Portuguese community. These individuals remember their youth and young adulthood in Lowell, a slice of Lowell life that now exists mostly in the memories of those who lived in Portuguese and multiethnic neighborhoods decades ago. The free program will take place on Thursday, November 10th at 5:30pm at the Event Center of the Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John Street, Lowell MA. Please note, parking is at the Downes Garage, 75 John Street, or on the street for metered parking.
This program is part of the ongoing temporary exhibit, "The Lure of the Spindle: The Portuguese in early 20th Century Lowell." at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum, which will be available to view before and after the program. The program is co-sponsored by University of Massachusetts Lowell Saab-Pedroso Center for Portuguese Culture &Research and Lowell National Historical Park. For more information about the For more information about Lowell National Historical Park, visit www.nps.gov/lowe or call 978-970-5000.
“The Lure of the Spindle: The Portuguese in Early 20th Century Lowell” will showcase the lives of immigrants at work and play and explore their devotion to their faith, families and neighborhoods. The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, is presented by UMass Lowell’s Saab-Pedroso Center for Portuguese Culture and Research with the university’s Center for Lowell History, in partnership with Lowell National Historical Park.
The exhibit will kick off with a free, public reception on Thursday, Aug. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum, 115 John St., Lowell and will be on view through Tuesday, Dec. 1. To complement the exhibit, programs and performances focused on Portuguese culture will be held in the coming months at the university and park to enrich the public’s understanding of Portuguese-Americans and their experience in the region since the early 1900s.
The exhibit was built around immigration documents including letters, passports, photographs and visas that were recently uncovered inside Lowell City Hall and donated to UMass Lowell. These materials – combined with other historical and contemporary collections of photographs, maps, city records and cultural and religious artifacts – tell the stories of Portuguese laborers and their families, revealing the challenges they faced and the choices they made in the mill city.
“The exhibit is designed for two audiences: for the local Portuguese-American community as a way to bring them together, tell their stories and celebrate their heritage, and for the general public, particularly school groups, to share this rich history with them,” said Martha Mayo, director of the Center for Lowell History.
(Location: Boott Cotton Mills Museum, Reflections Room, 115 John Street, Lowell MA)