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Proviso East Students Work with Local Community to Celebrate Black History and to Honor Community Leaders

Proviso East High School art students are partnering with the Village of Maywood and The West Town Museum of Cultural History to honor the pioneers, civil rights leaders, and African American History makers of Maywood.

This year the Village Of Maywood's Special Events Commission and The West Town Museum of Cultural History will present its 2nd Annual “Honoring our African American Pioneers.”  The exhibit will feature a photo montage of some of the community’s first African American clubs, organizations, and civil rights leaders from the 1890's to the 1960's. The exhibit was created by the digital studio class at Proviso East High School. Students found photos of Maywood pioneers and created a digital art exhibit in their honor.

“It feels great to work on this project because we are honoring people who helped change the world as a whole,” said Proviso East senior Belinda Sanchez. “We get to be the ones to show our community who they are.”

Some of those featured in the exhibit include: the Maywood Horsemen, the Maywood-Oak Park Improvement Club, the first African-American family that moved into Maywood in 1957; the first black dentist in Maywood, Dr. Dobson; and the first African-American female graduate of Proviso East High School, Quinella Watson-Hathaway.

“This is really nice,” said Proviso East senior Steffon Hampton. “We worked with old pictures.  We kept the images and the textures, but we added color and design to make them look more modern. This project was really good to get us involved in Black History Month. We got the chance to check out the history of our own community.”

Ms. Northica Stone, from the West Town Museum of Cultural History, commended the students on their contributions, their artistic ability, and the work that will help inspire the entire community.

“It is really an artistic venture,” said Ms. Stone. “It is great that we are able to say that we have students at Proviso East who are capable of doing museum exhibit caliber work. It is also a great history lesson. Many of them had no idea of the history of the community where they live. So it is an educational venture for them and a great artistic endeavor that enriches and inspires the entire community.”

The unveiling of “African American Pioneers of Maywood” is Saturday, February 19th 2011 at 9:00 a.m. at the Maywood Multipurpose Building (200 S. 5th Avenue). After the unveiling, the artwork will be placed in the display cases outside of Maywood's Village Hall.

Great job students! Keep up the excellent work.

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