state:
Connecticut
Local history:
Digging Deep into the Carceral Past
What should tourists learn at a historic prison?
University of Connecticut
National Traveling Venue:
Hartford Public Library and UConn Library at Hartford Public Library, Hartford, CT / Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Hartford Public Library: 500 Main Street | Thomas J. Dodd Research Center: 405 Babbidge Road, Unit 1205
March 11, 2019April 18, 2019

Upcoming Events:

Families Impacted by Mass Incarceration

January 29, 7 PM to 8:30 PM

Minnesota History Center

345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102

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Connecticut: Digging Deep into the Carceral Past
What should tourists learn at a historic prison?
University of Connecticut

Located in East Granby, the “Old Newgate Prison and Copper Mine” was incorporated as a mine in 1705. After being abandoned for two decades, the old shafts were designated the colony’s first prison in 1773. Those incarcerated at Newgate were required to work the mine and confined underground the rest of the time. New forms of labor were introduced over time—all on the surface—while prisoners remained confined below at night. During the Revolution, loyalists were incarcerated there. In 1790, Newgate became the nation’s first state prison. Following its closure in 1827 and several failed attempts at restarting the mine through the 1840s, Newgate became a tourist destination run by private owners until it was purchased by the state and designated a historic site in 1968. Why was a mine presumed a good place for incarceration, prison labor, and tourism?

Our Point of View

As new undergraduate history majors, we came to this project through a course devoted to learning how to become historians. Most of us were unfamiliar with the histories and contemporary issues of incarceration in the U.S. and Connecticut going into the class. In researching Newgate, we were struck by continuities, including the disproportionate incarceration of poor and non-white people, prison labor, and the desires of the non-incarcerated to see and experience the prison.

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Connecticut: Digging Deep into the Carceral Past    University of Connecticut
What should tourists learn at a historic prison?
Connecticut: Digging Deep into the Carceral Past
What should tourists learn at a historic prison?
  University of Connecticut

National Exhibition Venue    Hartford Public Library and UConn Library at Hartford Public Library, Hartford, CT / Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Public Dialogues and Events
| March 11 – April 18, 2019

See Full Exhibition & Events Schedule
Mar 15, 2019
A painting with an hourglass in the center. The sand is replaced by a face on the top. The background depicts mountains and trees with a woman next to the hour glass and angels in the sky who are blindfolded.

"Dream Lover Entrapped"George Gould, 1994

A painting with an hourglass in the center. The sand is replaced by a face on the top. The background depicts mountains and trees with a woman next to the hour glass and angels in the sky who are blindfolded.

"Dream Lover Entrapped"George Gould, 1994

Friday, March 15, 2019

CT: "40 Years of the CPA Prison Arts Program" Opening Reception

Description: 

"40 years of the CPA Prison Arts Program" is comprised of drawings, paintings, sculptures, photographs, documents, and artifacts from the Community Partners in Action's Permanent Collection that vividly illustrate the work and history of this important project. For the past four decades, the Prison Arts Program has advocated for art and artists in prison, organized in-prison worksshops and an annual show open to anyone incarcerated in Connecticut, maintained a travelling permanent collection, published and distributed a journal of art and writing, and collaborated with other organizations, agencies, and individuals. The program workers to positively and constructively change the prison environment...read more…

Time: 
5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Venue: 

ArtWalk

3rd FLoor

Hartford Public Library

500 Main St.

Hartford, CT 06103

Mar 28, 2019

Thursday, March 28, 2019

CT: States of Incarceration Opening Reception

Description: 

Join us for the opening reception of States of Incarceration. Hear from those involved in making this exhibition happen, including representatives from the Humanities Action Lab, the national coalition that sponsors States of Incarceration. Refreshments will be served.read more…

Time: 
5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Venue: 

Atrium, Ground Gloor

Hartford Public Library

500 Main St.

Hartford, CT 06103

Apr 6, 2019
A painting of a square clock. The hands are in front of a picture of the background made up of small squares with pictures of people of different races inside each one.

Jason Peters, "Septuagint - Freedom and Liberty" (2011).

A painting of a square clock. The hands are in front of a picture of the background made up of small squares with pictures of people of different races inside each one.

Jason Peters, "Septuagint - Freedom and Liberty" (2011).

Saturday, April 6, 2019

CT: Encounters: States of Incarceration

Description: 

The Encounters series is a collaboration between the Hartford History Center at the Hartford Public Library, The Amistad Center for Art & Cultures, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the Old State House, and the UConn Humanities Institute. It is an encouraging, informed, and informal conversation about the issues that affect our lives. The aim is to strengthen our ability to know ourselves and to develop a forum for respectful and challenging dialogue. Encounters: States of Incarceration is happening in conjnction with the States of Incarceration exhibition, which will be on display at the Hartford Public Library. Please make sure...read more…

Time: 
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Venue: 

Hartford History Center

Hartford Public Library, 3rd Floor

500 Main Street

Hartford, CT 06103

Apr 9, 2019

"How It Is." Judy Dworin Performance Project.

"How It Is." Judy Dworin Performance Project.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

CT: ArtWalk Book Blub: Judy Dworin Performance Project's "Finding Stillness"

Description: 

Join us for a performance and talk back around short pieces creatde by incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women at York Prison in Niantic, CT, from Judy Dworin Performance Project's latestp production, "Finding Stillness." To learn more about the Judy Dworin Performance Project, visit their website at: https://www.judydworin.org. read more…

Time: 
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Venue: 

Hartford History Center

3rd Floor, Hartford Public Library

500 Main St.

Hartford, CT 06103

Apr 27, 2019
A close up photo of a black man with several news microphones held close to his mouth.

James Tillman was wrongfully convicted of rape in 1989. In 2007, after serving 18.5 years, he was released from prison and became the first person in Connecticut to be exonerated based on DNA testing.

A close up photo of a black man with several news microphones held close to his mouth.

James Tillman was wrongfully convicted of rape in 1989. In 2007, after serving 18.5 years, he was released from prison and became the first person in Connecticut to be exonerated based on DNA testing.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

CT: "Conviction" staged play reading and talk back

Description: 

Join us for a staged play reading and talk back of "Conviction," based on the real life story of Hartford resident James Tillman, written by Alan Kramer, and directed by Kimberly West-Herzog. The play takes place during an appeal hearing where wrongfully accused young man interacts with his young, not-yet-incarcerated self, his imprisoned self, and his present day self, going through memories of his upbringing and schooling experience that gave him the foundation of being seen as a target threat, leading to his wrongful accusation and being incarcerated for almost two decades. Tillman ends up being the first person in...read more…

Time: 
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Venue: 

Center for Contemporary Culture

Hartford Public Library

500 Main St.

Hartford, CT 06103

States of Incarceration is created by over 800 people in 18 states, and growing. We explore the roots of mass incarceration in our own communities—to open national dialogue on what should happen next. Click on a state to learn more.

States of Incarceration is created by over 800 people in 18 states, and growing. We explore the roots of mass incarceration in our own communities—to open national dialogue on what should happen next. Click on a state to learn more.

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