The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Monday, October 28, 2019

November Speaker Series spotlights Local History

WHAT: Popular Speakers Series spotlights Local History in two upcoming talks on one night
WHEN: Wednesday, November 13 5:30-7:30 P.M.
WHERE: Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street

“Sojourner Truth in 19th Century Florence”
by Wendy Sinton and Diane E. Liebert


“Over or Under?
Politicians, Railroads, Citizens, and Lobbyists Clash in 1890s Northampton”
by Lu Stone

The event is free and open to the public and co-sponsored by Northampton Neighbors and Northampton Senior Center

Talks in Brief:

Sojourner Truth, born a slave in New York state, lived in Florence for 13 years. During her time here she developed her public voice, fighting against slavery and inequality, and for women’s rights. The talk will be an overview of her life and her connections to the abolitionists in a utopian community founded in Florence. Sojourner Truth is now a nationally recognized figure in the history of equal rights, with statues in Florence, Battle Creek, MI, the capitol rotunda in Washington D.C., and soon, Central Park.

Over or Under? In this forgotten chapter of Northampton history, the city’s dangerous grade crossings were at issue: Northampton wanted the railroad tracks to be elevated; the railroads wanted the highways raised. Pitted against the railroads’ aggressive team of political insiders and lawyers, the city and its enraged citizens fought, and won. The talk will focus the contentious campaign on the Main and North street crossings.

Speaker Bios:

Wendy Sinton, M.A., M.S.W., has developed a passion for local history since relocating to Western Mass. 20 years ago. She quickly got involved in the Sojourner Truth committee and its commitment to honoring Sojourner’s life, values and commitment to equality. She is involved in developing curriculum materials and a walking tour about this local historical figure and nationally important woman with Northampton 5th grade teachers.

Diane E. Liebert has a Master's Degree in History and a Ph.D. in Educational Research. She has been involved in the Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee since the statue was unveiled in 2002. She has a 25-year history doing educational research and evaluation, and has been the Evaluator of grants to the Sojourner Truth Committee over the past 7 years.

Lu Stone is author of “A House. A Street. A City. The Story of 17 Summer,” part of a chapbook series published by the city of Northampton for its 350th anniversary, and the forthcoming, “North to Market. Two Streets. Two Centuries. A Sheaf of Northampton Stories,” and editor of “Back Row, Back Ward. The Redevelopment of Northampton State Hospital.” She has led tours of the Market Street neighborhood for Historic Northampton. During her 40-year career in advertising, marketing and public relations, she worked with scores of public and private colleges and universities, and independent schools, to advance their admissions and development goals.

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