Newark Public Library Debuts ‘At Home in Newark: Stories from the Queer Newark Oral History Project’

From the Newark Public Library: 

Exhibit on view from December 14, 2017 to March 1, 2018
Atrium and 1st Floor Gallery, Main Library, 5 Washington Street, Newark

Discover how how lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender, and queer people who have lived in Newark claimed space for themselves in the community, in the face of poverty, violence, illness, racism, and discrimination, in the exhibit At Home in Newark: Stories from the Queer Newark Oral History Project.

At Home in Newark features several interactive and multimedia elements. Video clips with historic footage from the elaborate balls held by the LGBTQ community, part party, part community gathering, part educational center, will be shown. In the 1990s, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, events like the Fireball were places where safe sex information was available.

Exhibit visitors will be able to listen to extended excerpts from the oral history interviews either with MP3 devices or smart phones. An interactive station will enable visitors to explore critical issues examined in the exhibit: how do you identify yourself, and where do you feel at home and safe in Newark. A large map has been compiled that shows the locations of bars and nightclubs such as Club Zanzibar and Murphy’s that became sanctuaries for members of Newark’s LGBTQ community, and visitors will be encouraged to identify any other places that may be missing from the map.

The exhibit was curated by students in Dr. Mary Rizzo’s American studies class “Place, Community, and Public Humanities” at Rutgers University-Newark, drawing content from the life history interviews that are included in the Queer Newark Oral History Project, begun in 2011. The exhibition panels and graphics were designed by students in Professor Chantal Fischzang’s graphic design class “Visual Means.”

Join us and listen to the voices of LGBTQ Newark!

Opening Reception
Thursday, December 14, 2017
5:00 – 7:00 pm
Program begins at 6:00 pm in the James Brown African American Room