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National Effort Illuminates the Journey from Enslavement to Freedom Across the Ohio

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Crowd-sourcing history by gathering the names and stories of enslaved people in America

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - s4story -- (Un)Known Project, an effort led by IDEAS xLab, discovers and honors the names and stories of enslaved people in America while spotlighting the economic and systemic role that slavery played in the development of cities. (Un)Known Project launched with a focus on Louisville, KY – a slave state, and New Albany, IN – a free state, highlighting their shared history connected by the Ohio River.

In 2021 (Un)Known Project unveiled "On the Banks of Freedom" at the edge of the Ohio River in Louisville, KY. Created by artists William M. Duffy and Dave Caudill, the installation provides visitors with an opportunity to reflect on their own ties to the history of enslavement.

On June 1, 2022 Louisville's Frazier History Museum will unveil a commissioned art piece by Ché Rhodes for (Un)Known Project as part of the Museum's new exhibition, The Commonwealth: Divided We Fall.

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"Ché's work will provide a contemplative space for visitors to reflect on the known and unknown stories of the enslaved people of Kentucky. Recreating items owned by enslaved people out of beautifully blown glass, the preciousness of Ché's material reflects the preciousness of these common items to the enslaved people who owned them," said Amanda Briede, Curator at Frazier History Museum.

(Un)Known Project will then premiere Journeys to Freedom: (Un)Known Project River Cruise aboard the Belle of Louisville on June 9, 10, 22, 23. Tickets will be available for purchase in May at BelleofLouisville.org

With the upcoming addition of its second site in New Albany, Indiana, the (Un)Known Project Trail will be launched to connect similar sites across the United States.

The progress to-date was made possible thanks to contributions exceeding $670,000 from funders and donors backing the work both locally and nationally including the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Media approved images are available upon request.

This is an abbreviated release.  The full text with quotes from project partners and funders can be found here: https://bit.ly/UnKnownProjPressReleaseApril27

About (Un)Known Project
(Un)Known Project creates artistic spaces and experiences to support learning, healing, reflection, reconciliation, and action by honoring the names and telling the stories of Black men, women and children that were enslaved. The Project is led by artists Hannah Drake and Josh Miller of IDEAS xLab.

About IDEAS xLab
IDEAS xLab is a dynamic artist-led nonprofit based in Louisville, KY - and working nationally that proactively seeks to unearth and honor community stories that transform people, spaces and cultures.

Kelsie Smithson

Source: IDEAS xLab

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