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Community Asked to Share Stories of the Hill District in a Pop-Up Museum

A temporary museum that will serve as a repository for art, objects and stories related to the Hill District will come to life Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13 and Nov. 14.

To ramp up for the exhibition, people willing to share stories and memorabilia are invited to a Meet the Curators event on Saturday, Nov. 7, 3 to 5 p.m., at the Hill District branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 2711 Centre Ave.

The curators of Our Hill, Our Home, Our Stories: Collecting Our Neighborhood are Duquesne University graduate public history students in the class of Dr. Alima Bucciantini, assistant professor of history and director of graduate research in history and public history at Duquesne University. They are working with the library and the Hill House to engage the community in sharing stories and artifacts for two days, with the gala opening at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, at the Blakey Center, 1908 Wiley Ave. The exhibit will continue from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 14.

"Unlike traditional museum exhibitions, this one will be made out of whatever objects and art people bring in over the two days of the exhibition," Bucciantini explained. "Students will be helping visitors label and hang whatever they bring, but anything is fair game. Anything can help add to the stories of the Hill."

Anyone with objects, art or stories to share about the Hill District is encouraged to participate in this temporary community museum.

Pop-up museums, intended from the start as exhibits that might last only a few hours or days, can come to life in unorthodox art spaces such as libraries or laundromats, bringing people together in conversation through stories, arts and objects.

"Everyone has something that they can share, and a pop-up museum gives them the venue to do so," said Amanda Sherry, one of the graduate student curators. "At the Our Hill, Our Home exhibit, Duquesne public history graduate students will help local collectors to display their objects and tell their stories the way they want them told. We look forward to seeing what unique contributions attendees will add to the museum."

When the exhibition closes, the collectors take back their objects.

The students also have been collecting oral histories in the Hill District, designing lesson plans about collecting and museums for Hill District teachers to use to tie into the exhibition, operating a Twitter feed (@HILLstories), Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ourhillourhome, and website, https://sites.google.com/site/ourhillourhome/.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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