Kent State University Museum and Wick Poetry Center at Kent State Announce the Release of the Digital Green Book Project

The Kent State University Museum and the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State announce the launch of the “Digital Green Book” created in support of the exhibition “TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair.”

This is the first collaboration between the Kent State University Museum and the Wick Poetry Center, extending the poetry center’s series of innovative interactions known as the Listening Wall and Emerge poems that inspire creative connections between individuals and content. The subjects of the “Digital Green Book” are barbers and stylists living and working in Northeast Ohio and related text from the “TEXTURES” exhibition. “TEXTURES” brings together more than 180 art works and archival objects to tell the “hair stories” of peoples of African descent. Important to that story are the oral histories of those barbers and stylists working in our communities. The project is inspired by Victor Hugo Green’s Negro Motorist Green Book, produced between 1936 and 1966 to provide African Americans a resource as they traveled across America in the era of Jim Crow.

“The partnership with the Wick Poetry Center to create the Listening Wall and Emerge poem interactions with “TEXTURES” began with conversations about how best to localize and engage to share personal ‘hair stories’ as part of this exhibition,” stated Kent State University Museum Director Sarah J. Rogers. “We also sought a means of archiving the contributions of those who care for not only our hair, but often our well-being.”

“We are grateful to offer our expressive writing digital tools, designed by the Kent firm Each + Every, to engage our community in a creative conversation with such a singular and important exhibit,” said David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center. “The goal of our Traveling Stanzas suite of tools is to make poetry useful and relevant across all fields of study and artistic disciplines.”

The “Digital Green Book”​​​​​​​ is accessible on the museum’ website, “Digital Green Book,”​​​​​​​ as well as on iPads in the exhibition galleries.  

The “Digital Green Book”​​​​​​​ is made possible, in part, by Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support has been provided by the Ohio Arts Council, the Kent State University Museum and the Wick Poetry Center.

About the Kent State University Museum
The Kent State University Museum is located at 515 Hilltop Drive, at the corner of East Main Street and South Lincoln Street in Kent, Ohio. It features more than 29,000 pieces in its collection, amassed from many generous donors. The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from noon-4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in person at the museum or in advance through the museum’s online ticketing service. At this time, the Kent State University Museum requires face coverings be worn by both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals while indoors.

Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children aged 5 to 17. The museum is free for children under 5 and for those with a Kent State ID. Sunday admission is free for all ages. Parking is free for all museum attendees. Patrons should use the allotted museum spaces in the Rockwell Hall parking lot. For more information, please call 330-672-3450 or visit www.kent.edu/museum

About the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University
Established in 1984, Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center is home to the award-winning Traveling Stanzas project and is one of the premier university poetry centers in the country. It is a national leader for the range, quality and innovative outreach in the community. The center encourages new voices by promoting opportunities for individuals and communities locally, regionally and nationally. The Wick Poetry Center engages emerging and established poets and poetry audiences through readings, publications, workshops and scholarship opportunities. For more information about the Wick Poetry Center, visit www.kent.edu/wick.

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Media Contact:
Anna Mates, College of the Arts, amates@kent.edu

POSTED: Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 11:12am
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 2:22pm