Museum Awarded $1,300 Grant to Present “Becoming American”

Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:57 am     Category: NewsMuseum

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. – Cape Fear Museum, in partnership with the New Hanover County Public Library, has received a $1,300 award to present a six-week program series funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities entitled “Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on Our Immigration Experience”. This series is a FREE public program featuring documentary film screenings and scholar-led discussions designed to encourage an informed conversation that explores diverse immigrant experiences in American history. Discussion of each film will be facilitated by either UNCW History Professor, Dr. Candace Bredbenner or Cape Fear Museum Historian, Dr. Jan Davidson.

The program will take place at the New Hanover County Main Library located at 201 Chestnut Street in downtown Wilmington. The flowing topics will be explored in the six-week series:

Sunday, February 3 at 2:30 PM: New York & The Jewish Americans

  • “The Century of Immigration: 1820-1924” chronicles the period when 40 million immigrants entered the U.S., making immigration a major and defining aspect of American life.

Sunday, February 10 at 2:30 PM: Welcome to Shelbyville

  • “Promise and Prejudice” explores the tension – historic and current – between Americans’ acceptance of immigrants, including the celebration of their own immigrant heritage, versus the periodic backlash prompted by concern about the economic and cultural effects of newcomers.

Sunday, February 17 at 2:30 PM: The New Americans

  • “Between Two Worlds: Identity and Acculturation” looks at how immigrants react and adjust to living in a new country and culture, and how they bridge the divide between the traditions and values of their native countries.

Sunday, February 24 at 2:30 PM: Destination America

  • “Help Wanted? Immigration and Work” looks at the economic side of immigration, chronicling the essential part immigrant labor has played in building America, as well as the conflicted relationship American workers have had with immigrants.

Sunday, March 3 at 2:30 PM: My American Girls

  • “Family and Community” explores how family ties and community institutions have played an essential role in successful migration and adaptation to American life.

Sunday, March 10 at 2:30 PM: The Search for General Tso

  • “Immigration and Popular Culture” examines the ways the media and popular culture have historically taught newcomers how to “be American,” and how the rich contributions of different immigrant groups have transformed American culture and art.

Cape Fear Museum is one of thirty-two sites nationwide selected to present this program series which is a project by City Lore in collaboration with the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. “Becoming American” has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. After the six-week series is shown, the main library branch will receive the grant provided copies of each film and they will become a part of the lending collection available to the public.

“We are pleased to participate in this public program and film series designed to engage the audience in exploring the history and impact of immigration in the United States,” noted Museum Director Sheryl Kingery Mays. “And we are appreciative to our New Hanover County colleagues for partnering with us to host each week’s film at the main library branch in downtown Wilmington.”

For more detailed descriptions of each film, visit

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, 814 Market Street, is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. General admission will be FREE until further notice. Standard admission prices are $8 for adults; $7 for seniors, students and military with valid ID; $5 for children 6-17; and free for children 5 and under and for museum members. New Hanover County residents’ free day is the first Sunday of each month. More information:

News Release Contact: Barbi Baker,, 910-798-4367

814 Market Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-4370 • Fax 910-798-4382
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