New England Cultural Gem to Re-open

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Pequot Museum Rebirth: to Re-open with New Initiatives May 15
Grand Re-opening Kicks Off with VIP Celebration

Following great anticipation, the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center will re-open its world-class facility beginning May 15.

The re-opening comes on the heels of a well-attended VIP celebratory reception, which brought together many of the Museum’s important stakeholders, supporters and constituencies including Tribal and State elected officials, Native American dignitaries, donors, sponsors, and business and cultural leadership from across the region. Guest speakers acknowledged and celebrated the importance of the Museum’s mission, its public educational programming, and the significance of its collections, and historical and archeological research. Guests were treated to samplings of Native American-inspired cuisine, tours of the facility, as well as a traditional honor song and Native American dancing.

“The Pequot Museum is an invaluable cultural institution to the State of Connecticut and to our nation, that raises awareness of Native American histories and cultures,” said U.S. Congressman Joseph Courtney of CT at the recent celebration. “The exhibits and National Park Service-sponsored projects enrich our understanding of some of the most significant events in early American history. I am proud to support such an organization that promotes cultural diversity and social justice.”

“In the midst of change, the Pequot Museum and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe remain steadfast in our mission to bring untold or underrepresented American histories to the public,” said Museum Director Jason R. Mancini, PhD. “We aim to occupy a much larger stage in the arena of ideas. In the past 16 years, it has become clear that the greatest untold story we have to offer is that American history begins here, with the Pequot Tribe and with New England’s indigenous people.”

“We’ve created new initiatives to strengthen the Museum and to secure its future, strengthening the Museum’s bonds with other tribes while enhancing the experience for our visitors. For example, we are offering free studio and work space to Native American artists and soon, visitors will be able to watch and learn from those artists as they demonstrate their work,” added Mancini.

In addition to Courtney and Mancini, featured speakers included:
o Rodney Butler, Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council
o Randy Noka, Ambassador and Councilman for the Narragansett Indian Tribe, and Vice President of United South and Eastern Tribes (USET)
o Walter W. Woodward, Connecticut State Historian and Associate Professor of History at the University of Connecticut
o Susan Funk, Executive Vice President of Mystic Seaport and President of the Board for the New England Museum Association

The grand re-opening weekend on May 15 and 16 will feature several special celebratory activities:
• The Pequot Story: Creating a Museum: A special presentation on May 16 at 1:00 p.m. about the creation of the museum’s world-renowned exhibits by exhibit designer Michael Hanke, followed by a walk-through with Mr. Hanke at 2:00 p.m.
• The launch of Mission Mishoon: Over 3 – 4 weekends, beginning May 15, watch a mishoon (dugout canoe) take shape as a team led by Jonathan Perry (Gay Head Aquinnah, Wampanoag), works a 33-foot log with fire.
• Bow and arrow and atlatl demonstrations.
• Exhibit tours.
• Hands-on activities in the galleries.
• Native American dancing and drumming demonstrations.
• New Native American-inspired menu in Pequot Café.

Activities on May 15th and 16th are free with admission to the Museum. For more details about the museum, its hours, or its opening weekend, visit pequotmuseum.org or call the Pequot Museum at (800) 411-9671. Hours beginning May 15: Wednesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm, last admission at 4pm.

MEDIA: For more information contact Kris Allard KAllard@imajassociates.com or Jami Ouellette at jami@imajassociates.com, Imaj Associates 401-465-0983.
Media are encouraged to schedule visits and interviews with museum leadership. For more info visit our pressroom at pequotmuseum.org/Pressroom.aspx.
A Dropbox link with high resolution photos and cutlines relating to this release has been setup at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/k9nhvqehk9820rg/AAAj-92hTLk_LX2KF9s7j4bYa?dl=0

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The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, part of the government of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, is a non-profit educational institution that seeks to further knowledge and understanding of the richness and diversity of the indigenous cultures and societies of the United States and Canada. The museum provides exhibits, programs, and research opportunities to encourage interaction with and among indigenous peoples, the general public, and the scholarly community.

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