On behalf of students at The Evergreen State College, The Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project, and Art Forces, the Rachel Corrie Foundation is pleased to announce the public launch of Olympia’s Hidden Histories and a new exhibition space, tentatively called “Peacemaker Gallery.”
The multimedia StoryMaps tours and gallery seek to make visible the stories of Olympia’s diverse communities and natural ecology, which are often erased from the dominant narrative of the city. Students in Evergreen’s “American Frontiers: Homelands and Borderlands” program produced walking tours on the historic displacement of Indigenous, Chinese, and working-class communities, and salmon and oyster populations, and their contemporary revitalization:
- st̓əč̓as (Steh-Chass): People of the Water
- Tidelands: “When the Tide is Out, the Table is Set”
- Olympia’s Chinatowns: Exclusion and Endurance
- The 5th Avenue Dam: Reflections on Capitol Lake
The public launch will be at the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural at 119 ½ Capitol Way North (Capitol Way North and State), 10:00-11:00 am, Friday, October 7th (the first day of Fall Arts Walk). Invited speakers include Evergreen students and faculty who produced the tours and local partners from the Squaxin Island Tribe (including Chairman Kristopher Peters), Olympia Historical Society, Locke Family Association, and Salmon Defense who provided guidance and editing for the project. The audience will be invited to walk all or some of the tours on their smartphones, with each walk taking about one hour. The tours collection can be accessed on any internet-connected device at https://artforces.org/hiddenhistories (no app download is needed).
The new exhibition space, tentatively called “Peacemaker Gallery,” is hosted by Art Forces and the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project. The gallery will be open during Arts Walk weekend on the second floor of the historic Labor Temple Building, 119 N Capitol Way, 11:00 am-9:00 pm Friday, October 7th, and noon-5:00 pm, Saturday, October 8th. The exhibit intersects with the publication of Olympia’s Hidden Histories, showcasing collaborative and local art highlighting the themes found in the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural and Olympia’s Hidden Histories walking tours.
For those who can’t make the Friday morning launch of Olympia’s Hidden Histories, walking tour information will be available at the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural site throughout Arts Walk weekend.
The “Walls Tell Stories, Olympia” project is partially funded by a Washington Humanities SHARP grant (through the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021) and by a Thurston County Heritage Grant (recommended by the Thurston County Historic Commission and awarded by the Thurston County Board of Commissioners). Support also comes from the Handleman Family Fund, Sam Mazza Foundation, and the Middle East Children’s Alliance. Support for the launch event comes from the Mellon Foundation (via The Evergreen State College Dean’s Office).
Location: 119 Capitol Way N, Olympia, WA 98501, United States