SEATTLE, WA – In New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and various other cities and towns along the Eastern seaboard, “Washington” is often associated with our nation’s capital, the District of Columbia. But lest Northeasterners forget – and Greek-Americans among them – there is a much larger Washington on the West Coast, in the Northwest corner of the United States, and there are plenty of Greeks there.
In fact, the Greeks of Washington state in 2009 established a “museum without walls,” to preserve the history of Greek-Americans there, as Greeks in Washington Board President John Nicon explained to The National Herald:
“The primary activity of the Museum is to conduct video interviews which become online exhibits with text, photos and video segments. By the end of 2014, over 130 video interviews will have been conducted with over 100 exhibits available to view.
“As television sets and computers become more and more alike, with people viewing sites and obtaining information on their smart phones and I-pads, Greeks in Washington has chosen to use the electronic medium rather than a physical site and is much less expensive. The internet provides worldwide exposure and viewer responses have been received from far corners of the globe.
“While Greeks in Washington is a virtual museum, an archive has been established to house donated or loaned items which include textiles, film, video, DVDs, costumes, clothing, bound volumes, printed materials, photos, slides, newspapers, documents, art work, audio recordings and other artifacts. These materials are available for educational and research purposes and items from the archive can be used for displays or exhibits at other locations.
“In addition to the online exhibits and the establishment of the archive, the Museum has conducted several other activities. In 2013 it sponsored a presentation on Alexander Pantages, the Greek theater mogul. It also conducted a history competition in which young descendants of Greek immigrants were invited to submit essays, videos, electronic presentations or other media to tell the stories of their families’ immigration and experience in Washington. The Museum has also worked in concert with other Greek and Greek-American organizations in support of their events.
“In 2013 the Museum was fortunate to receive the Charles Payton Heritage Advocacy Award from the Association of King County Historical Organizations (AKCHO) and the Award of Project Excellence from the Washington Museum Association (WMA).
From February 7 through May 31, 2015 Greeks in Washington will feature an exhibit in the Community Focus Gallery of Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI). It is titled ‘A Place at the Table: 100 years of Greek Restaurants, Culture and the Entrepreneurial Spirit.’ As a prelude to the event, Greeks in Washington will participate in MOHAI’s History Café on December 18 to share holiday traditions. It will include a presentation and cutting of the Vasilopita by Fr. Dean Kouldukis of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption and singing of the kalanda by a group of Seattle youngsters.”
Those interested in more information may log on to the Museum’s website, greeksinwashington.org.
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