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‘Reflections’ Highlights Former Belchertown State School Residents

How can art help reconcile a painful past with a better present?  Reflections: Public Art Honoring Lives Lived at Belchertown State School is a multimedia exhibition running until September 12 at 1 Front Street, Belchertown MA. Reflections highlights works of art across multiple mediums by former residents of the state institution—notorious for its inhumane conditions—which closed in 1992.

Many people served by Nonotuck are former residents of the Belchertown State School.

Although the exhibition runs until September 12, some works—including community poetry and painting, and a play—will only be displayed at an event August 14 from 2-7 p.m.

Per the Belchertown Community Alliance:

The former Belchertown State School for the Feeble-Minded (BSS) campus and the treatment many residents experienced there from 1922-1992 is a painful and complicated part of Belchertown’s past. Using a multidisciplinary approach including visual arts, performance art, poetry, historical text and imagery in an in-person and virtual art experience, the Belchertown Community Alliance (BCA) will shine a light on all parts of the legacy the BSS leaves behind. Creating a platform for expression for some of those harmed and disenfranchised by this space, this body of work will be a step towards justice for the site. The installations, performances, and coordinating digital application will aim to connect the community of BSS survivors now scattered around the state and country and Belchertown residents so that together they can tackle the legacy of the Belchertown State School and support development towards more just futures.

Full info is available on the Belchertown Community Alliance website.

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