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October 6, 2022 @ 5:30 pm

Seven installations will spotlight research projects from Community College of Philadelphia students on topics including the Black church, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, and public art in Philadelphia


PHILADELPHIA – The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS), the oldest denominational archive in the United States, will host an opening reception for its Building Knowledge and Breaking Barriers (BKBB) exhibit on Thursday, October 6 at 5:30 p.m. The public reception and exhibit, previously postponed due to the pandemic, will spotlight seven installations created by Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) students focused on melding current events with Presbyterian history.


Three outdoor and four indoor installations will be on display at PHS during the reception with the opportunity for guests to meet the students responsible for the research and execution of the project. BKBB is an archives-based learning project that for two years has brought educators and students from CCP together with experts from the PHS archives to explore more than 500 years of history through written/spoken word, photography and more. The October 6 reception is free and open to the public but registration is encouraged.


Heavily influenced by the global pandemic and nationwide protests for racial justice, the Building Knowledge and Breaking Barriers exhibit showcases CCP students interpreting local and international history in a truly reflective manner. In addition to the outdoor installation topics of “Colors of the Human Family” and “The History of a Black Presbyterian Church”, exhibit topics include abolition and revolution, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, public art in Philadelphia, and white Christian attitudes toward Asians and Asian Americans.


“The Building Knowledge and Breaking Barriers project used archival items from PHS and expertise from our staff to bolster the research and critical-thinking skills of Community College of Philadelphia students. The project also confronts barriers to access, learning, and professional opportunities that too often keep institutions like ours a resource for the privileged few instead of a place of welcome for the broader Philadelphia community,” said Nancy J. Taylor, Executive Director of the Presbyterian Historical Society. “I want to thank The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage for their grant support for this project and commend the CCP students who persevered and worked creatively to complete their projects despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. We can’t wait for the public to experience this exhibit.”


Following the opening reception, both indoor and outdoor BKBB installations will be open to the public and available to view Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. An interactive digital exhibit of all eight student installations is available at www.bkbbphilly.org.

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