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COMING SOON: A New Coming to Rhode Island

By Megan Fischer, Providence Children’s Museum


Providence Children’s Museum introduces a playfully reimagined Coming to Rhode Island exhibit this fall, with an opening weekend celebration November 18 – 20!

For hundreds of years and continuing today, people have come from all over the world to what is now Rhode Island, and everyone has stories about where their families are from and how and why they came. Coming to Rhode Island is designed to promote tolerance, diversity and inclusion by sharing actual stories of the history of immigration to RI – how people lived, what they left behind, the challenges they met, the solutions they found. The exhibit’s goals are for children and adults to develop tolerance and respect for the diversity of individuals that make up their world, understand that diversity makes our communities stronger, and build empathy for others by making personal connections to their stories.

Discover these exciting exhibit updates:

  • Embark on a time-traveling adventure through a transformed “time tunnel” to journey through the exhibit’s story galleries and learn about Rhode Island’s immigration history.
  • Explore an imaginative new gallery highlighting the story of a pre-famine Irish immigrant who helped build Fort Adams. Work on the Fort’s construction crew to build walls and arches, and explore what home life was like at the Fort.
  • Investigate an array of intriguing hands-on activities and resources that explore culture and diversity and encourage empathy, building on the learning that happens through pretend play in the story galleries. Play games and discover music from around the world, and explore stories of other Rhode Islanders as well as your own stories.
  • Examine new labels that help caregivers understand the value of pretend play for developing empathy and other social-emotional skills.
  • And, in celebration of the exhibit, also join a series of special programs exploring construction and Irish culture in November and December. Create Celtic knots, build with bricks, engineer tunnels, and more. Learn more.

While there are a lot of changes in store, the new Irish gallery will replace only the French Canadian mill gallery – so no worries, the beloved English farmhouse, Cape Verdean packet ship and Dominican bodega will return!

Curious how the Museum makes new exhibits?  Visit the Museum’s blog for a behind-the-scenes peek at the process of reinventing Coming to Rhode Island!


Coming to Rhode Island is supported by The Children’s Workshop Foundation; CollegeBound Saver; June Rockwell Levy Foundation; Murray Family Charitable Foundation; The Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund; Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities; The Ryan Family Foundation; and Nancy Smith Worthen, in memory of Margaret L. Worthen (as of October 11). The Irish gallery was developed in collaboration with The Museum of Newport Irish History and the Fort Adams Trust.

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