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Museum to Host New Exhibit, Hold Grand Opening Event
When Willard Psychiatric Center in New York's Finger Lakes closed in 1995, workers discovered hundreds of suitcases in the attic of an abandoned building. Many of them appeared untouched since their owners packed them decades earlier before entering the institution. The Museum of disABILITY History will host a limited-time traveling exhibit called, The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic, starting with a grand opening event on Friday, February 27, at 6 p.m., at 3826 Main Street, Buffalo.

The suitcases and their contents bear witness to the rich, complex lives their owners lived prior to being committed to Willard. They speak about aspirations, accomplishments, community connections, but also about loss and isolation.

The exhibit tells the stories of the suitcase owners and offers a patient-centered view of the history of psychiatry, and will be on display at the Museum until April 11.

The grand opening event is a fundraiser for the Museum of disABILITY History. The exclusive event, includes wine and hors d’oeuvres. To RSVP, call 716.629.3626. For ticket costs and more information, click here. Reservations for the opening event are required.

The exhibit was created by The Community Consortium, an organization that works to promote the full citizenship and civil rights of people with psychiatric disabilities.
A Visit from Students of St. Paul Lutheran School
We recently welcomed students from St. Paul Lutheran School in Batavia for a fun and educational tour of the Museum of disABILITY History. The students ranged from kindergarten to 5th grade – they enjoyed sitting in the Invacar and learning about the different types of equipment people used to help them get around. We were delighted to receive this kind note about their visit:
“The Museum was just the right size for our group. We wish we had more time to hear more stories about some of the display items. The children always enjoy hearing interesting stories like that. Thanks again for a wonderful visit.”
- Ann Werk, Principal, St. Paul Lutheran School, Batavia

We welcome students of all grade levels to visit. To schedule a tour, call 716.629.3626.
Upcoming Events in March
On Friday, March 6, from 7 to 9 p.m., the Museum will host a panel discussion featuring writers who either have disabilities or write about disability-related topics. Participants will read their work and discuss its meaning.

On Saturday, March 7, from 1 to 3 p.m., we will host local and regional writers who either have disabilities or write about disability-related topics. Participants will share their work and discuss their experiences.

If you are a local writer or journalist and would like to participate in either event, contact Lizz Schumer, writer, at schumeea@gmail.com or Thomas Stearns, Museum coordinator, at tstearns@people-inc.org or call 716.629.3604.
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In the Media: Museum of disABILITY History
Recent news stories or contributions that include the Museum of disABILITY History

“Healing waters of Niagara: “They Did No Harm” explores alternative health in the 19th century:” The book, They Did No Harm: Alternative Medicine in Niagara Falls, NY, 1830–1930, was featured, which was written by James M. Boles, EdD, business development and senior research advisor, People Inc. Niagara Gazette, January 11, 2015 (print).
Photo: Michele DeLuca/Niagara Gazette
Hospice Spring Bouquet Sale
Think spring, and help Hospice Buffalo during the 29th Annual Spring Bouquet SaleTM! The Museum of disABILITY History is pleased to be one of the many local businesses participating by taking pre-sale orders. The bouquets are available for $8 or a tribute bouquet for $30. Cash or checks (payable to Hospice) are needed by February 11, and can be given to a staff member at our reception desk. All bouquets will be available for pick up at reception the first week of March. If you have any questions, contact Sarah Jerge at sjerge@people-inc.org or 716.629.3626.

For more information about the Museum of disABILITY History,
call 716.629.3626 or visit www.museumofdisability.org.

3826 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14226
Museum of disABILITY History Store online: store.museumofdisability.org

1219 North Forest Road | Williamsville, NY 14231 US

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