Woonsocket, RI (April 21, 2016) – Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. (BHC) has continued its 30-year commitment to tourism in the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor by awarding $20,000 grants awarded to both the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center in Pawtucket, RI, and the Rhode Island Historical Society which operates a visitor center at the Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket, RI.
Strategically positioned across the street from the Slater Mill Historic Site, the Pawtucket visitor center serves more than 65,000 annually who come to the city to learn about the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. It features a hands-on relief map of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, two art galleries and a state-of-the-art theater which shows “Hidden in the Blackstone,” an award-winning film depicting the rise and evolution of American industrialization. The Center also runs a gift shop featuring food and gift items from a variety of local artists.
“The support from Blackstone Heritage Corridor is critical,” explained Barney S. Heath, Director, Department of Planning & Redevelopment for the City of Pawtucket. “It allows the Visitor Center to function seven days a week and service visitors who have come to learn about the Blackstone Valley. With the advent of the new National Park, a buzz is in the air and being able to sustain the Visitor Center has never been more important.”
Visitors to the National Heritage Corridor also benefit from the rich learning experience at the Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket, RI. The Museum shares the stories of the men, women, and children who came to find a better life in Rhode Island’s mill towns in the late 19th and 20th centuries. The two-story museum, conveniently located on Main Street and adjacent to the Blackstone River, features replicas of a Quebec farm house, a mill floor with looms, a triple decker mill house and a 1929 classroom.
“The Blackstone Heritage Corridor partnership program grant made it possible for the Museum of Work & Culture to complete the conceptual design phase for a new permanent, interactive, digital exhibit called The Mills of Woonsocket,” explained Anne Conway, director of the Museum of Work & Culture. “The funds allowed us to engage the expertise of an exhibit design firm who worked with the Museum to develop the exhibit’s approach and produced interface layouts, exhibit sketches, and a sample animation and promotion video.”
“We are pleased to continue investing resources into these important tourist destinations,” explained Charlene Perkins Cutler, executive director of BHC. “Pawtucket and Woonsocket are two important stops along the 48-mile Blackstone River where visitors learn about the rich history of the National Heritage Corridor. The sites in Pawtucket and Woonsocket take on added significance as they host new visitors drawn by the new Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park.”
About Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc.:
An energetic nonprofit, the Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. partners with organizations, local communities, businesses and residents to ensure the long term vitality of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. Learn more at BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org.