Michigan State Museum exhibit opens at West Shore.

September 19, 2014

VICTORY TWP. — The Manierre Dawson Gallery will open a new exhibition on Sept. 22, from the Michigan State University Museum that consists of photographic interpretive banners and a reproduction of an Idlewild history quilt by Michigan quilter Deonna Todd Greed.

The exhibit, titled “Welcome to Idlewild; the Black Eden of Michigan,” was a collaborative project by residents and scholars of Idlewild.

According to MSU, the exhibition “traces through words and images the development of the Idlewild” and “glimpses beyond the often told stories of Idelwild’s entertainment scene.” The display attempts to “tell the story of a community that has survived the challenges of historical change.”

In conjunction with the Sept. 22 exhibit opening, Dr. Ron Stephens, the author of two books about the history of Idlewild, will be speaking at 12:30 p.m. in the Center Stage Theater and at 7 p.m. in room 364 of the Arts & Sciences Center.  There will be a reception and book signing at 2 p.m.

Stephens, who is the foremost authority on the history of Idlewild, recently published his second book on the topic entitled “Idlewild; The Rise, Decline, And Rebirth of a Unique African American Resort Town,” which is published by the University of Michigan Press.

Stephens is a former member of the West Shore Community College faculty.

This traveling exhibition is supported by grants from the Michigan Humanities Council, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Research Council for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with in-kind support from the Idlewild Historical Museum and Cultural Center and Michigan State University Museum.

The exhibit will close in mid-November.

            The Manierre Dawson Gallery is located in West Shore Community College’s Arts and Sciences Center. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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