Shadows and Sounds: Memories from a Forgotten Neighborhood

Intersection of Park Lane and Access Road (Cranston, RI)

The Center for Public Humanities at Brown University and Urban Pond Procession are pleased to announce “Shadows and Sounds: Memories from a Forgotten Neighborhood” – an on-site sound installation and opening event, to take place on May 9, 2014, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the intersection of Park Lane and Access Road, across from the J.T. Owens Ball Park off Niantic Avenue.

Visitors are invited to delve into the history of the former West Elmwood neighborhood and current Huntington Industrial Park through an immersive sound installation. Organized activities will take place every half-hour, including a hands-on science demonstration, storytelling and a scavenger hunt.

This event also marks the launch of a mobile app tour focused on sites around Mashapaug Pond. Planning for the Huntington Industrial Park began in the 1950s by the Providence Redevelopment Agency, which sought ways to attract new businesses to Providence. The West Elmwood neighborhood, once filled with fruit trees and families, was deemed “blighted” by the Agency and slotted for redevelopment. Ultimately, over five hundred homes were demolished.

While the neighborhood is gone, memories still remain. These memories have been captured as part of a collaboration between the Center for Public Humanities at Brown University and Urban Pond Procession – a community organization that advocates for the health of urban ponds. For three years, Brown students have conducted oral history interviews with former West Elmwood residents and other people who have a relationship to Mashapaug Pond. The interviews will be featured in the event and mobile app. The sound installation and accompanying programs are free and open to the public.

A rain date is scheduled for the following day, May 10, 2014 from 1:00-3:00 p.m.