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It’s all coming out in the wash at Cumberland

Cumberland Museum and Archives invites members of the community to “air their dirty laundry” for The Laundry Project Feb. 3 to March 3.
Photo enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged to participate in The Laundry Project at the Cumberland Museum. Photo by Sharon MacDonnell

Cumberland Museum and Archives invites members of the community to “air their dirty laundry” for The Laundry Project Feb. 3 to March 3.

This fun initiative is part of a new series of community-building projects at the museum that shine a spotlight on the beautifully mundane elements of domestic life, both in the past and in our contemporary lives. The Laundry Project combines hands-on learning about the history of Cumberland with a community art project and event.

The project kicks off Thursday, Feb. 3 with the official opening of the Historic Laundry Exhibit at the Cumberland Museum. Drop by Feb. 3 between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The exhibit explores the history of laundry practices in our community, including family and gender roles, equipment, safety, supplies, equipment designs and methods. The contemporary perspective will feature photos and videos by Cumberland photographer Sharon MacDonnell, whose work celebrates the extraordinary aspects of life through the lens of the ordinary moment.

The Laundry Project runs the entire month of February with laundry-themed events including films, speakers and after-school programs at the museum Feb. 10 and 17. The project culminates with the opening of a Community Art Exhibit with an event on Feb. 24.

The exhibit will be developed through a participatory community art process. This project is all about community participation.

Members of the community, young and old, male and female, are encouraged to get involved and help create the stories, photographs, videos and performances that will become the Community Exhibit part of the project.

Not sure how to get involved?

MacDonnell has been working on laundry-themed photos and videos with her six-year-old daughter, and as part of the community process, she will be exhibiting these photographs and short videos as well as offering three free workshops at the museum.

These workshops will provide tangible tools for capturing ordinary moments from our everyday lives and focus on how to tell your family’s laundry stories through visual images, inspire your creativity and demystify the creative process.

The workshops are scheduled at different times during the first week in February to create opportunities for everyone to attend. Workshops are open to people of all ages and skill levels but those younger than 12 are asked to bring a parent. Workshops will take place on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m., and Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 10 a.m.

Cumberland businesses are also jumping right in on this project. You can learn how to make environmentally friendly laundry soap at Seeds Food Market on Feb. 17 from 3 to 5 p.m. with the Cumberland Community Schools Environment Club.

Or visit Organic Family, Natural Home in Cumberland for information about safe and effective stain removal.

To find out more about this project, call 250-336-2445.

— The Laundry Project