LEWISTON — Admission to Museum L/A will be free on Tuesday, Aug. 31, the lasts day for viewing two exhibits, “Portraits & Voices: Brickyard Roads” and “Rivers of Immigration: Peoples of the Androscoggin.”

The rooms will then be prepared for “Portraits & Voices: Shoemaking Skills of Generations,” slated to open Sept. 25. The museum’s permanent exhibit on the second floor will be open during the transition period.

“It’s your last chance to see these exhibits as they are now,” said Rachel Desgrosseilliers, Museum L-A’s executive director. “We plan to move some elements of both exhibits upstairs to our permanent exhibit rooms and the artifacts and photographs on-loan for these exhibits will be returned.”

“Brickyard Roads” is the second in the “Portraits & Voices” series based on oral histories of workers in Lewiston-Auburn’s textile, brick and shoe-making industries. This exhibit tells the story of the local brickmaking industry with first-person oral histories, documentary photographs, films showing the process (past and present) and commissioned artwork celebrating the art of brickmaking.

“Rivers of Immigration” presents an overview of Lewiston-Auburn’s cultural diversity from the mid-1800s through present day. This exhibit not only showcases the cultural diversity of the Twin Cities, but also reminds us that history repeats itself in the immigrant experience. Stories are told through photographs, personal histories and an interactive writing wall where visitors have added their own family’s experience as immigrants.

“It’s been wonderful to see how this exhibit and programs have served as a bridge to understanding between people of different cultures,” Desgrosseilliers said. “They’ve been a ‘safe, neutral’ place for people to ask questions and learn about each other and get to know each other.”

Collaborators with the museum on this exhibit are Catherine Besteman, professor of anthropology at Colby College; Anne Kemper, counselor/coordinator of the Lewiston Adult Education Adult Learning Center; and members and leaders of the local Somali Bantu community. Several photographs illustrating the timeline were donated by local families to help tell the stories of their Irish, Italian, Greek, French-Canadian and Lithuanian ancestors who settled in Lewiston-Auburn.

Museum L-A is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 207-333-3881 for more information or e-mail [email protected]

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