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Connect: Opening Eyes and Broadening Minds

Lesra Martin

During Black History Month 2004, the Connect schools collaborated on a special cultural event, bringing to each campus inspirational speaker, Lesra Martin, the lawyer credited with exonerating Rubin "Hurricane" Carter of murder charges.

Through cultural offerings of all sorts, each Connect school offers programs that entertain, educate, and inspire. These are programs open to both students and the surrounding community. In many instances, the schools develop the programs in concert with one another and/or with groups in their community.

Massasoit Community College’s Buckley Performing Arts Center has offered regular productions of “Radio Classics Live” over the last 15 years. The performing voices have been those of artists from stage, screen, television, and radio, as well as local celebrities and college staff and students. The college’s Canton campus also houses the collection of the Milton Art Museum.

The roles and contributions of people of color are recognized in the Massachusetts Hall of Black Achievement at Bridgewater State College. More than 30 individuals and groups have been inducted since the 1987 inception of the Hall. In addition to serving as an archive, the Hall is a “traveling portrait exhibit” for educators and community groups.

The wide spectrum of the visual arts is brought to the community at Bristol Community College’s spacious Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery. Opened in 2000, the gallery has drawn more than 7,000 people to its exhibits and special presentations.

The distinctive history, culture, and society of the Portuguese-speaking world is the focus of the diverse programming and outreach of the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture at UMass Dartmouth. The Center also collaborates with area school systems to promote Portuguese culture and language study.

Cape Cod Community College’s “Making Art, Making A Living” is in its ninth year of educating artists, gallery owners, and performers about the business of creative expression. The College, through its Workforce Education Resource Center, collaborates in this effort with the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, The Provincetown Art Center and Museum, a number of regional Economic Development Councils, and private foundations.

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