Drake Community Library, in partnership with Grinnell College and members of the community, presents “Grinnell Works” from March 5 to April 19, 2020. The exhibit was created as part of a Smithsonian pilot project to give communities the tools to tell their own unique stories and develop a unique humanities-based exhibition about local work history.
The exhibition brings to light the history of work in Grinnell and how it fits within the nation’s history. It explores work through sections focused on places Grinnellians work, how work has been performed in different ways, who has worked in the community and why work has changed since Grinnell’s founding in 1854.
“Grinnell Works” will open at 5:00 p.m. on March 5 with remarks by the library staff, Grinnell College, community members, exhibit organizers and special guests from the Smithsonian Institution. In addition, Grinnell College will announce its affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution.
The curatorial framework for the exhibition was provided by the Smithsonian and material was crowd sourced from the community through a call for public submissions. Those submissions were then fleshed out by a team from Grinnell College (Monica Chavez-Silva, Sarah Smith and Lesley Wright) and Drake Community Library (Monique Shore) using local historical images, art, artifacts and oral histories. They in turn marshaled Grinnell community members, volunteers at the Grinnell Historical Museum and Grinnell College students to research and write dozens of stories about Grinnell
The exhibition will be displayed in the central space of the Drake Community Library and will be available for viewing whenever the Library is open to the public. Watch for special programs over the six-week exhibition.