Cambridge hosts exhibition construction

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper
Anchor Point’s Metro Building hosted the Smithsonian’s Men of Change exhibit for a pre-tour assembly and prototyping. The exhibit will open in Cincinnati in August, and will eventually tour to 10 states in the U.S.

CAMBRIDGE – A traveling exhibition being constructed by The Smithsonian found a temporary home in Cambridge in the past week. The exhibition titled, “Men of Change,” which had been designed and prototyped by the Smithsonian Institution, needed space to be assembled prior to going on tour, and the dimensions of the exhibit demanded a fairly roomy location for the task.

The exhibit uses a pole structure 14 feet high to hold interactive storyboards and photographs of black men who have effected real change in American history, and covers a floor space 100 feet deep. With the assembly contractor and image creation being handled on the Mid-Shore, it made sense to find a place for the final prototyping close by.

“Some of our network partners approached me about whether space was available to work on an exhibit for the Smithsonian,” said Alan McRae of Anchor Point in Cambridge, “and we said ‘Absolutely!’”

Anchor Point, the non-profit organization that owns the old Metro building on Route 50 in Cambridge, noted that there was space in the building that would just fit the exhibit. The contractor managing the construction of the exhibit paid a visit and agreed it could be done, and last week the first prototype assembly took place.

On a huge exhibit like this, it is typical and necessary to do a full assembly and document the procedure, to basically create assembly instructions to follow for each new venue.

“My understanding is that the opening is going to be later in 2019, with the opening in Cincinnati, Ohio,” Mr. McRae told us. “It will tour 10 different cities and will be set up for three to six months in each city.”

The display is impressive, and it highlights the important contributions that African-American men have made to American culture and society. “During the time that we’ve had some private viewings here,” said Mr. McRae. “We’ve had folks who have jumped up and down, have fallen on their knees, have wept, and have said ‘This is our experience.’ This whole experience has been very moving, and very captivating. The exhibit speaks of barriers, strengths, nobility, and overcoming trials and tribulations. It is a part of a powerful story that all of us as Americans share.”

The Men of Change exhibit will open at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 17 of this year. Watch the Smithsonian web site for more venue locations beyond the opening.

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