Inspired by the Tenement Museum on 97 Orchard Street in New York City. Twenty layers of wallpaper and forty layers of paint were found on the walls when the Tenement Museum wasfounded in 1988 and began to explore the space that had been sealed since the 1930s on the Lower East Side. Almost half of the immigrants who lived there were from Ireland, as well large numbers of Italians and Jews from Eastern Europe. Investigation into stories of the past will illuminate the larger struggles of immigration that have shaped and continue to influence our country today. Looking to the past can expose the damaging cycles of prejudice, exclusion and injustice that are relevant in our current political climate. Understanding these cycles is the first step to breaking them.
CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS: Irish, Italian and Eastern European Jewish immigration 1860-1909. Tenement living, Engineering/ Bridge Construction, Discrimination, Perseverance, Familial Love, Friendship, Self-pride. Fantasy, Foreshadowing, Imagery, Symbolism Theater Arts: Acting, Puppetry, Mask, Original Music, Devising, Storytelling