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Grand Opening for “The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic” Exhibit
Saturday, October 20, at 11 a.m.
Museum of disABILITY History
3826 Main Street, Buffalo, NY
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2131575370492463/
When Willard Psychiatric Center in New York’s Finger Lakes closed in 1995, workers discovered hundreds of suitcases in the attic of an abandoned building. Since their discovery, an incredible exhibit was created that showcases the moving stories behind these suitcases. “The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic” exhibit has found a home at the Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc. A grand opening will unveil one of the suitcases. The suitcase and its contents, once belonging to a man named Mr. Lawrence Mocha, will be displayed as part of the exhibit, thanks to support from his family and the New York State Museum.
During the grand opening event, Max Donatelli of the Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition will speak about the stigma surrounding mental health. Attendees are encouraged to join the conversation with a question and answer session.
The event is a fundraiser for the Museum of disABILITY History. Admission is: Adults $10, Seniors (60+) $6, students and human service employees with identification $6, children under 6 free and members of the Museum of disABILITY History are free. For more information or to register, contact David Mack-Hardiman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 716.629.3606. Refreshments provided. Reservations for the event are required.
“The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic” was curated by Darby Penney and Peter Stastny for the Community Consortium. Copies of their compelling book, by the same name, will be available for purchase. The goal of the exhibit is to bring the stories of the suitcase owners and a patient-centered view of the history of psychiatry to a wider audience. For almost ten years, the exhibit traveled the country from coast to coast, hosted by 30 venues in 11 different states and seen by thousands of people.