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Contact: JoAnne Arasim (517) 373-1905
Agency: History, Arts and Libraries

Heritage Workshops Offered at Michigan Historical Museum
September 23, 2003

The Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing will kick off a new series of workshops this fall focusing on preserving Michigan handicraft traditions.  The first workshop, highlighting a craft that began in the 18th century, takes place at the museum on Sunday, Oct. 26.

The workshops, which run through May 2004, offer adults an uncommon opportunity for a hands-on discovery of Michigan history.

“Our children’s workshops and summer day camps have been successful, in part, because of their creative hands-on activities,” said Phillip C. Kwiatkowski, director of the Michigan Historical Museum System.  “The adult workshops give men and women a similar but more in-depth understanding of the handicraft traditions that played a part in our Michigan heritage.”

More than a dozen traditional skills and crafts will be explored in individual workshops throughout the year.  Most workshops are presented in a single two-hour session on a weekend afternoon, but some are held on a weekday or have more than one session.  Fees start at $35 and often include supplies.

The first workshop, “Rug Hooking for Beginners,” will teach participants how to make hooked rugs using traditional tools, techniques and designs.  Rug hooking began in the 18th century in northern New England and then spread to Michigan and other states during the Victorian era.

The workshop features instruction by rug-hooking artisan Wendy Hoard.  The five-session workshop begins October 26 at the Michigan Historical Museum and continues November 2 and 23, and December 7 and 14.  Each session runs from 1 to 3 p.m. and will be immediately followed by an optional two-hour practice and discussion period with the instructor.  The fee is $80; a supply list will be provided.

Other upcoming workshops include:

·         A Housewife in the Civil War (November 2):  Create a housewife – a traveling sewing kit – and view others in the museum’s collection.

·         Snow Stepping (November 8):  Create your own snowshoes using neoprene lacings and traditional designs.

·         A Penny for Your Rug (November 16): Create a mid-19th-century tabletop decoration using a coin, felt and a blanket stitch.

Workshops continue in 2004, covering a host of topics including how to preserve family treasures, tell family history and hand-tint black-and-white photographs.  There is a fee for each workshop and pre-registration is required.

The Michigan Historical Museum is a year-round museum in downtown Lansing.  Five exhibit levels – surrounding visitors with Michigan’s past, from prehistoric times through the late 20th century – include an Upper Peninsula copper mine, the 1957 Detroit Auto Show and a one-room school.

The Michigan Historical Museum is located inside the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 W. Kalamazoo St., two blocks west of the State Capitol in downtown Lansing.  The main entrance and visitor parking are located north of Kalamazoo Street, just east of M. L. King Boulevard.  Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.  The museum is closed on official state holidays.

For more information visit or telephone (517) 373-3559 (TDD 1-800-827-7007).

The Michigan Historical Museum System is a division of the Michigan Historical Center, an agency of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries.  Dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Michigan, the department also includes the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, the Library of Michigan, the Michigan Film Office and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Read more press releases from the Department of History, Arts and Libraries.




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