The Museum of Westminster Street took place between Dorrance and Union Streets on the following dates and times:
Friday, March 5th, 11.30am-2pm
Saturday, March 6th, 12pm-4pm
Below is our press release about the event.
One of downtown Providence’s busiest streets transformed into a unique pop-up museum about itself
Since December, a store window in downtown Providence, RI, has contained an exhibit called Westminster Stories, a diorama telling stories of people and buildings on two blocks of Westminster Street. This week, the project will culminate in a spectacular, three-dimensional museum exhibit – on the street itself.
It’s the latest creation of Providence-based group, The Museum On Site. “Not many people go to museums, and when they do, there’s no guarantee they’ll apply what they see out in the real world,” says co-organizer Andrew Losowsky, an author and journalist for publications including The Wall Street Journal.
“By creating a museum in the middle of a busy street, we are encouraging a greater understanding about what and who is around us. So the next time someone walks down here, they’ll say ‘oh yeah, that’s the place this guy works, or that building used to be.’ By sharing the information in an unusual way, we hope people will feel closer to the city and what’s in it.”
Labels on buildings, street furniture – even on people
The museum’s labels will be placed on street furniture, buildings, inside stores, on the sidewalk – even on people, who have volunteered to be labelled for the event. The labels are the results of historical research and more than 150 interviews with people on Westminster Street. A special ‘Museum of Westminster Street gift store’ will also be created.
The work also aims to challenge what a museum is, and who it’s for. “Only certain kinds of people visit museums, while walking along a downtown street has few real or perceived barriers to entry,” says Lyra Monteiro, co-organizer of The Museum of Westminster Street.
“By using the language and methodology of museums, we hope people will not only learn more about this area, but also question what a museum is, or can be.”
For more information, or if you’d like to volunteer to help make it happen, please contact Andrew Losowsky, firstname.lastname@example.org, 401-338-3172.
The Museum On Site is dedicated to helping people understand their worlds through site-specific, free public experiences that share ideas and information in accessible and stimulating ways. Read more at www.themuseumonline.com
Praise for Westminster Stories
“Call it an art installation, call it a city in miniature, call it social commentary – but whatever you call it, head downtown to Westminster Stories.” — Providence Monthly
“This is really awesome.” — David W
“There is life and death on this two-block stretch of downtown Providence. Success and failure. And Losowsky and Monteiro are determined to tell the tale.” — Providence Phoenix
“I think that the loveliest art is that which is both experiential and filling a need. This is a wonderful gift.” — Nick S