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‘Asylum’ exhibit recognized

An exhibit presented by the History Museum at the Castle in downtown Appleton that received support from the Community Foundation has been selected for two substantial awards.

“Asylum: Out of the Shadows” received the Wisconsin Historical Society’s 2017 Exhibit Award, as well as the 2017 Award of Merit from the Leadership in History Awards Committee of the American Association for State and Local History. The exhibit was evaluated based on its historical quality, audience reach, design, and innovativeness of topic and its presentation.

The exhibit tells the story of life inside Outagamie County’s mental asylum on Bluemound Road, since replaced by the highly progressive Brewster Village nursing care facility. It features rare artifacts and photographs from the facility and provides an honest look at the operations of county and state mental health hospitals. A $25,000 Arts & Culture grant from the Community Foundation helped tell these important and often difficult new stories with cutting-edge exhibit technology that allows visitors to use their cellphones to listen in on conversations that could have taken place in the home.

Partners in the exhibit planning and implementation include NAMI Fox ValleyAgape of Appleton Inc. and Brewster Village. In addition to the Community Foundation grant, the museum received support from the Wisconsin Humanities Council’s Working Lives Initiative, Eagle Supply and Plastics and the Ken and Carol Grode Family.

The exhibit will be open through September 2018.

Read a description of the exhibit from its curator.

Reflections form a donor tour of the exhibit.

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