Dreaming of Timbuctoo exhibit opens in its permanent home at John Brown Farm in Lake Placid

LAKE PLACID - “Dreaming of Timbuctoo,” an exhibit curated by Westport-based freedom education and human rights project John Brown Lives! that chronicles a chapter of the North Country’s abolitionist history, will open Sunday, July 10, in its new, permanent home at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site in Lake Placid. 

The exhibit has been completely updated with new scholarship and artwork ahead of its permanent installation at the farm, which is managed by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. 

“Over the past decade, this exhibit has visited numerous venues including college campuses, a prison, and the New York State Fair,” said Martha Swan, executive director of John Brown Lives! “We’re thrilled that the thousands of visitors who come to John Brown Farm every year will be able to explore this era, when black and white abolitionists collaborated on securing equal voting rights for black New Yorkers.”

The installation chronicles the work of Gerrit Smith, a wealthy white abolitionist who helped black New Yorkers gain the right to vote by giving away 40-acre plots of land. The giveaway undercut a ruling that had denied those rights to black New Yorkers who owned less than $250 in real property. The exhibit was revamped after dozens of donors contributed to an online campaign hosted by Adirondack Gives, an Adirondack Foundation-led initiative to donors with local projects.  


WHEN:        1 p.m., Sunday, July 10, 2016

WHERE:      John Brown Farm State Historic Site

                    115 John Brown Road, Lake Placid, NY 12946

WHO:          Amy Godine, curator, will lead a tour of the exhibit 

                    Dr. Margaret Washington, Cornell University history professor, and Alane Ball Chinian, regional director of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, will offer remarks

COST:          Free and open to the public. Registration requested. Please contact info@johnbrownlives.org or www.facebook.com/johnbrownlives.


ABOUT:       John Brown Lives! (JBL!) uses the lens and lessons of the past to inform and inspire civic involvement to address some of the most pressing concerns of our time,  from mass incarceration and human trafficking to voting rights and climate justice. Since 1999, JBL! has sponsored surprising collaborations, groundbreaking research, community dialogue, and cultural initiatives that upend conventional narratives, provide portals for oft-avoided conversations, and facilitate examination of our history for its useful legacies in the present.  

CONTACT:     Martha Swan, executive director, (518) 744-7112 or info@johnbrownlives.org