Concurrent with the current exhibition Photography and the American Civil War, we’re screening a film on William Still, a conductor on the Underground Railroad.
- 5 – 8 p.m.: Art on the Spot – free art activities
- 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.: Music by The Salt Wives
- 7 p.m.: Film: Underground Railroad: The William Still Story
About Underground Railroad: The William Still Story
(approx. 60 min.)
William Still was one of the most important, yet largely ?unheralded heroes of the Underground Railroad. Still was determined to get as many runaways as he could to “Freedom’s Land,” smuggling them across the US border to Canada. Bounty hunters could legally abduct former slaves living in the so-called free northern states, but under the protection of the British, Canada proved sanctuary for fugitive slaves. Still kept meticulous records of the many escaped slaves who passed through the Philadelphia “station” of the Underground Railroad. His notes provide some of the best evidence of the workings of the Underground Railroad, detailing the freedom seekers who used it, including where they came from, how they escaped, and the families they left behind. Today, Still’s records, a compilation of the secret notes he kept during those years, is regarded as the most authentic account of some of America’s most heroic stories. It was an extraordinary risk to keep such records, but worth it in the end. After meeting his own long-lost brother while working in the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery office, Still was determined to reunite families separated by slavery—using his own records. His compelling story is one of America’s greatest sagas.
About The Salt Wives
The Salt Wives began in Providence, RI in 2009 as a trio consisting of accordionist/singer/composer David Symons, euphoniumist/singer Lydia Stein, and violinist Jonathan Cannon. The band was then re-invented when Symons and Stein moved to New Orleans in January of 2012. Initially a duo, street-corner-belting songs about sailors, pimps, whores, revolutionaries, whiskey bars, and earthquakes in French, Spanish, Yiddish, German, and English, the band was eventually joined by bassist Cody Ruth, clarinetist Byron Asher, and violinist Dr. Sick. The Salt Wives repertoire combines French chanson, South American and Eastern European revolutionary songs, German theater songs, Bessarabian klezmer horas and freylachs, and tango, all performed with grit, virtuosity, and a tragic sense of life.