FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 25, 2016 Contact: Ken Dooley Phone: 401-841-1605 Contact: Wayne Muller Phone: 860-437-3045

Fund Raising Drive for new Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame Opens on June 14 at the Conley’s Wharf Building at 200 Allens Avenue, Providence at 3:00 p.m.

PROVIDENCE, RI – QUESTION: What special distinction does Rhode Island share with Mississippi, Alabama and Maryland?

Answer: No state history museum.

That’s right. The Ocean State, settled 380 years ago by the initial wave of European immigrants central in the development of the colonies that were to become the United States, has no state repository to honor and understand the people whose achievements shaped its long history.

Unlike our newest states Arizona and New Mexico (1912) and Alaska and Hawaii (1959), and the other states, Rhode Island has no one place where the story of this long, often tumultuous, and truly fascinating history can be gathered and told.

To combat the state’s negative self-image, the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame will erect a stately and elegant Rhode Island icon that will inspire pride in our state, the people, and its heritage.

The location of the Hall of Fame building will be in Bristol, on Metacom Avenue (Route 136), adjacent to Roger Williams University, an institution of higher learning named for our most prominent inductee. Roger Williams University is willing to aid and partner with the Hall of Fame in a variety of ways through its well-regarded outreach program.

“The Hall of Fame in its new building will not be merely a gallery of eminent Rhode Islanders,” Dr. Patrick T. Conley, Hall of Fame president, promised.

“The inductees will come down from its walls and actively engage students and the general public in a continuing dialogue about Rhode Island and our state’s contributions to America and the world at-large. It will be a ‘living’ Hall of Fame by relating our history through a series of changing exhibits using the latest museum technology,” Conley said. “We will tell the story of Rhode Island’s development through the medium of biography.” Healy/Kohler Design has been selected to create a dynamic and education-based program for visitors to the Hall of Fame.

“We will create a dynamic multi-layered visitor experience that that integrates biographies with media and interactive technologies and with interpretive graphics,“ said Terence Healy, founder of HealyKohler Design.

Healy’s design and development of projects includes those for the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum, the Museum of American Revolution, the Library of Congress, the International Bluegrass Music Museum, the Florida Museum of Natural History, the United States Geologic Survey, and the U.S. Naval Academy.

Healy has received the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Presidential Award and other recognition awards from the American Institute of Graphic Artists.

“Visitors to the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame will experience a powerful and dramatic media production,” Conley said. “The theatre production will be an immersive experience that will connect to all of the visitor’s senses. Not only will the audience see amazing footage and hear the personal and emotional stories of our inductees but visitors will also feel, smell and touch the excitement of being part of Rhode Island history” Conley said.

“We have retained the leading company in museum design in the nation to help us attract new visitors and generate optimism and pride in Rhode Island. Those who visit The Hall of Fame will gain a much more positive image of our state,” Conley said. “It will become a major and inspiring destination.”

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