By Tricia Bender, Collections Manager
Being in charge of the NCSML’s travelling exhibitions provides a unique view of Czech and Slovak history and culture, and creates connections to fascinating people and organizations around the country. Tricia Bender, Collections Manager, shares her perspectives of managing the NCSML’s traveling exhibitions.
Our first exhibit to travel this year, The Tragedy of the Slovak Jews, is our largest traveling exhibit with 33 wall panels and replica artifacts that include a concentration camp uniform, chess pieces and a board like those made by camp prisoners, identification patches worn by camp prisoners, and a Slovak National Uprising uniform coat and hat. It is a very powerful exhibit that tells the larger story of World War II, and both the collective and individual stories of Slovak Jews. I am very pleased that it is now on display at the Tyler History Center in Youngstown, Ohio. Five different organizations pulled together to bring the exhibit to their community and have planned lectures, film screenings of The Shop on Main Street, as well as other programs around it. The exhibit and programs will run through the end of May.
Experiences like this one are so valuable to not only the museum, but to me personally. They give me the opportunity to work with people from all over the country who also strive to preserve and celebrate Czech and Slovak culture. Every one of those relationships has brought another piece of history to life for the people who engage with our traveling exhibits, and that is what means the most to me. Developing friendships with those I work with, and the chance to touch so many lives through them are part and parcel to this program. It may sound like a romantic notion, but that is what the traveling exhibit program means to me.