9/30/2014 - "Brass City/Grass Roots” Exhibit Examines Agriculture in Waterbury


Agriculture in industrial Waterbury?  Sounds like an oxymoron.  And yet agriculture remained robust in the city even after the industrial revolution made Waterbury the Brass City.  A new exhibit, “Brass City/Grass Roots,” explores the many ways in which agriculture, local food processing, and local food marketing have made their mark in Waterbury over the past 150 years.  The exhibit, which on October 1st will start traveling with the non-profit organization Brass City Harvest to mobile produce van sites and farmers’ markets in a number of Waterbury’s neighborhoods, will also be exhibited in other venues in the downtown area.   Everyone is welcome to come to this free exhibit, which will inspire lively discussions on the past, present, and future of local agriculture as an economic development tool, a way to revitalize neighborhoods, and a source of fresh and healthy food. 

“Brass City/Grass Roots” will debut on October 1st, at Bunker Hill [Schofield] Park from 1-3 pm.  It will appear on October 2nd at the Thursday farmers’ market on the Green from 9:30-12:30pm, followed by a visit to the Forever Young Senior Center at Mt. Carmel Church from 1-2:30 pm.  The exhibit’s official debut will be at the BCH-sponsored Harvest Luncheon, to be held at Fulton Park on Saturday, October 11th from 12 to 3 pm.  The exhibit will be displayed at the Silas Bronson Public Library fromOctober 20th to November 21st and then will spend the remainder of 2014 at the Brass City Market on Field, the indoor farmers’ market at 19 Field Street before coming to the University of Connecticut/Waterbury Campus in January.  Spanish-language booklets interpreting the exhibit will be available at these longer-term sites.  The exhibit will also be displayed at the Dodd Center at the University of Connecticut/Storrs from June 1st to August 1st  and may go to other sites in 2015 per request. 

This colorful exhibit consists of 10 panels with historic maps, photographs, and oral history interviews done with many area residents, and has in-depth profiles of several important Waterbury farms.  Conceived by Brass City Harvest Executive Director Susan Pronovost, the exhibit is based on a year and a half of research by Dr. Ruth Glasser, an urban studies and history faculty member at the University of Connecticut/Waterbury Campus, along with UConn students and talented area photographers and mapmakers.  Research for this project was made possible by grants from Connecticut Humanities, the Waterbury Environmental Benefits Fund, and the Connecticut Community Foundation.  The exhibit itself is funded by and is part of Connecticut at Work, a year-long conversation on the past, present and future of work life in Connecticut created by Connecticut Humanities.

Connecticut at Work travels across the state through December 2014. The program features the Smithsonian Institution’s The Way We Worked exhibition with stops in seven communities: New Haven, Torrington, Hartford, Waterbury, Coventry, Stamford and Groton. Surrounding communities are adding local focus with community history exhibits, book and film discussions, author talks, performances and more. Connecticut at Work is an initiative of Connecticut Humanities, a non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In the Waterbury region, Connecticut at Work is a partnership with the Mattatuck Museum. The Connecticut tour of The Way We Worked is made possible by Connecticut Humanities and Historic New England. For a calendar of events and more information, visit cthumanties.org/ctatwork.

For more information, please contact Dr. Ruth Glasser: ruth.glasser@uconn.edu or (203) 236-9921.