In 2021, the Newport Historical Society conducted a series of video interviews to chronicle the lived experiences of Newporters and Rhode Islanders over the past year. These interviews have been added to the NHS archives as part of our ‘History in the Making’ initiative. This is a new emphasis for the NHS; we are living in clearly historic times that should be recorded for the future.
In February of 2021, the Newport Historical Society sat down with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse to collect his experiences at the US Capitol on January 6th, 2021 for the archives. Senator Whitehouse’s account of his personal experiences during the attack on the Capitol is elucidating and chilling.
In this zoom interview, the Newport Historical Society sat down with Trudy Coxe, CEO & Executive Director of The Preservation Society of Newport County, to discuss the impact of the pandemic on this non-profit organization.
Here, the Newport Historical Society speaks with Ryan Belmore, owner and publisher of What's Up Newp, a platform that provides local, independent news for Newport County. As a member of the media, Ryan discusses the shift in community journalism that has taken place over the past year, and What's Up Newp's pivot from reporting on local events to providing detailed coverage of quarantine protocols, vaccine distribution, unsung heroes and more.
In this recent addition to our virtual 'History in the Making' archive, Rogers High School history teacher Coleen Turner discusses the impact of the pandemic on the local school system. From leveraging technology, to adapting lesson plans to facilitate remote-learning, Coleen explains the challenges and successes of educating her students during the past year.
The Newport Historical Society recently sat down, by Zoom, with Niko Merritt, Founding Executive Director of Sankofa Community Connection. Niko discusses how Sankofa Community Connection continued to advocate for a more equitable community during the pandemic, as well as the establishment of their new center in downtown Newport. She also discusses the Trust & Equity Alliance, which provides education on implicit bias, anti-racism, social justice, and community-based change.
This 'History in the Making' interview with Liz Spoden, a Registered Nurse in Rhode Island, focuses on the pandemic from the perspective of a healthcare professional. Having worked in a nursing home and a hospital, Liz discusses the physical, mental, and emotional toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on both healthcare providers and the patients they care for.
For the latest installment of 'History in the Making', the Newport Historical Society sat down, by Zoom, with Dr. Kelli Armstrong, President of Salve Regina University. Dr. Armstrong discusses the ups and downs of the 2020 academic year, including the university's emergency response to the pandemic, the transition to remote learning, and the steps taken to safely welcome students back for in-person learning in the fall of 2020.
Executive Director Ruth Taylor recently sat down, via zoom, with Oleksandra Kovalchuk, Acting Director of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum. Kovalchuck speaks about the measures the Odesa Fine Arts Museum took to protect their collections in the leadup to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, how the museum has continued to plan for the future, and what American museums can do to support Ukrainian refugees and Ukrainian arts and culture.