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Travelling Exhibit on Prisons’ Effects on Communities Coming to Auburn


One Auburn museum is playing host to a travelling exhibit focusing on Upstate New York prisons, specifically Auburn Correctional Facility.

The Seward House Museum will host Going Upstate, an exhibit curated by University of Rochester professors Kristin Doughty and Joshua Dubler. Going Upstate is the product of six years of research by the professors and their students exploring the effect prisons have on the communities in which they’re located.

Speaking with Finger Lakes News Radio, Seward House Museum Director of Education, Jeff Ludwig, said the exhibit seen at the museum will focus on the Auburn Correctional Facility.

“They’re focusing in, as they call it, on the landscape of prison communities, the historic rootedness of long-term sites like the Auburn Correctional Facility and the communities that develop around prisons,” said Ludwig.

The exhibit opens on March 1 as part of the city’s First Friday events and will remain at the Seward House throughout the month. Doughty and Dubler will be a the reception taking place from 5:00-7:00p on First Friday.

Guests will also be able to view the museum’s Rooted in Reform exhibit. Rooted in Reform opened last year and explores the relationship between the Seward family and the prison’s history. Ludwig noted that Judge Elijah Miller, father-in-law to William Henry Seward and original owner of the house, was crucial in the prison’s founding while Seward and his wife, Frances, were advocates of prison reform.

Special events have also been announced to coincide with Going Upstate‘s stay in Auburn. The Seward House is partnering with the Correctional Association of New York for a lecture at the Equal Rights Heritage Center on March 21 to discuss the two groups’ past and future collaborations.

Auburn Public Theater will host an event with Dubler and Doughty on March 30. Artwork will also be displayed at the theater’s Stage Right space and Cafe 108.

More information can be found at sewardhouse.org.

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