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White Fund Enlightenment Series

Looking to enrich your life? Join us for a series of free cultural conversations.

The White Fund’s purpose is to have a free series of interactive presentations for Lawrence area adults, youth, and children. The audience is encouraged to seek wisdom, cultural enrichment, and intellectual enhancement by attending and participating.

Fall 2014 Events


American Tapestry: Immigrant Children of the Bread and Roses Strike. A Theatre Expresso Presentation.

Date Time Location
Friday, October 17, 2014 1:30 PM Lawrence High School
70-71 North Parish Road, Lawrence, MA

Don’t Miss this White Fund Presentation by the Theatre Expresso!

What role did women and children play in the textile industry at the start of the twentieth century? What were the effects of low wages, long workdays, and hazardous living and working environments on immigrant families? How did workers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds unite to improve working conditions at the Lawrence mills and nationwide?

 
American Tapestry explores the Bread & Roses Strike from the perspective of children from immigrant families who worked in the mills and were part of these historic events. Students will play roles of members of the Congressional committee that convened in March 1912 to investigate conditions in Lawrence. They hear testimony from child strikers — such as Camela Teoli, who at age 13 suffered a head injury when her hair was caught in a gearshift, and from business owners, police officers, a mill paymaster, and nurse Margaret Sanger. Students observe key moments of these dramatic events, question witnesses, sift through conflicting testimony, debate their views, and offer recommendations on how to end the strike and improve conditions for working families. 
 
Theatre Espresso creates, produces, and performs interactive dramas that bring history to life for students, in order to foster a generation of critical thinkers and true citizens. Inspired by the highly successful Theatre in Education teams of Great Britain and by the belief that drama is a potent teaching tool, Theatre Espresso’s work challenges students to make critical judgments, explore social relationships, reflect on the role of law and human rights in our society, and examine accepted truths about the history of America.

FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC

The views expressed in the White Fund Enlightenment Series presentations are the views of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Northern Essex Community College.


From Fall to Factories: Lawrence and New Beginnings.

Date Time Location
Thursday, September 25, 2014 1:30 PM Lawrence High School
70-71 North Parish Road, Lawrence, MA

Don’t Miss this White Fund Presentation by Susan Grabski, Director, Lawrence History Center, and Mike Hearn, Director of Library Services, NECC!

In 1845 there was no town of Lawrence, Massachusetts. There was Andover and there was
Methuen, and there was the Merrimack River separating the two. So what happened? Why did
the city of Lawrence start, and who was responsible for making it happen? We’ll tell the story of
how Lawrence came to be a great center of industry, and just who made it into one. Come see
and hear how the marvelous transformation occurred, and learn how Lawrence grew from the
“New City on the Merrimack” to the “Immigrant City.”

During the lecture, Susan Grabski and Mike Hearn will tell the story, along with visuals, of how Lawrence came to be a great center of industry. Read more in a newsroom article here.

FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC

The views expressed in the White Fund Enlightenment Series presentations are the views of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Northern Essex Community College.


Additional Information

For additional information or to be added to the electronic mailing list, please contact Martha Leavitt, director, Lawrence Campus operations, at mleavitt@necc.mass.edu or 978-738-7403.

Sign language interpreters may be requested by calling 978-556-3897 V or by emailing interpret@necc.mass.edu.

About the White Fund Enlightenment Series

In the 1850’s Daniel Appleton White served as an Essex County Probate judge and a Massachusetts Congressman. His birthplace was a Methuen farm that would eventually become a part of downtown Lawrence and the campus of Northern Essex Community College. At his direction, money from the sale of a portion of that land would endow a “course of lectures delivered annually designed to enlighten the mind and elevate the character.” His chief concern was “for the advancement and success in life” of the young men and women at work in the textile mills.

The first White Fund lecture was delivered in 1864. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Booker T. Washington were among the mid-century luminaries who graced the White Lecture podium at City Hall on Common Street. Charter trustees Charles S. Storrow, Henry K. Oliver, and Nathanial G. White, for whom the Lawrence Public Library was dedicated, enlisted speakers “tending to the moral and intellectual uplift of the inhabitants of Lawrence.” Today the White Fund Trustees continue this tradition through support of the White Fund Enlightenment Series offered in cooperation with Northern Essex. By Judge White’s design, these presentations are free to the public.

For more information on any of the events or for directions to the events at Northern Essex’s Louise Haffner Fournier Education Center, please call 978-738-7403.

The views expressed in the White Fund Enlightenment Series presentations are the views of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Northern Essex Community College.