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New Gallery
Neighborhoods and Shared Memories

Neighborhoods and Shared Memories explores how the experiences and memories of many generations of El Pasoans intersect within the city’s neighborhoods. Gathering stories, photographs, and special mementos from residents and displaying them in the Museum reflect people’s connections to their neighborhood. Neighborhoods & Shared Memories will focus first on the city’s oldest neighborhoods: Chihuahuita and El Segundo Barrio.

One of the most important aspects of Neighborhoods & Shared Memories is working closely with past and present residents of Chihuahuita and South El Paso. Since November 2009, the Neighborhoods & Shared Memories project has scanned more than 700 photographs and identified more than 200 artifacts reflecting neighborhood history in Chihuahuita and El Segundo Barrio. Eleven oral history interviews and close to four hours of video interviews have also been recorded. These elements will be woven together to explore neighborhood themes like Family & Home, Leisure Time, Evolution of Community, Work, and Social Status. Neighborhoods & Shared Memories exhibit design includes audiovisual spaces where visitors can experience these elements together.

Since August 2011, Neighborhoods & Shared Memories exhibit has taken on new momentum in preparation for the exhibit opening in Spring 2012. Museum staff and volunteers are finalizing exhibit content and refining the exhibit’s graphic design.
 
See the slideshow for a sneak peek into drafts of the exhibit’s designs. Please note, some images may not include the finalized text.


Neighborhoods & Shared Memories Contributor Spotlight:

Carmen Silva—Chihuahuita Resident
Images:
Carmen and Jose
Carmen and Jose, 1937,
Chihuahuita, Courtesy of
Carmen P. Silva
Priego Sisters
Priego Sisters, 1970’s, Chihuahuita,
Courtesy of Carmen P. Silva

Carmen Priego Silva has lived all her life on Charles Street in the Chihuahuita neighborhood in South El Paso. Mrs. Silva was born in 1922 in El Paso to Fausto and Guadalupe Priego. Fausto was a printer and bootlegger during the 1930’s and Guadalupe cared for the family’s seven children. Mrs. Silva grew up alongside her husband, Jose, in Chihuahuita. They began dating at fifteen and married five years later when Jose returned from serving in World War II. The Silva’s raised their family of ten a few doors away from the Priego’s in Chihuahuita. Mrs. Silva recently turned 88 years old and continues to reside on Charles Street.

Neighborhoods & Shared Memories Contributor Spotlight:

Manuela Medrano-Segundo Barrio Resident
Images:
Medrano
Mrs. Medrano, 2009
Hernandez Portrait
Hernandez Family Portrait, 1941

Manuela Medrano was born in her family’s two-room apartment on June 7, 1928. The family of eight lived at 207 E. Seventh St. between Oregon and Mesa. Mrs. Medrano describes her chores, “We had to make our beds. We had to help my mom with washing dishes. We would take turns washing dishes. Of course, it was warming the water, and then we’d have the soapy water to wash the dishes, and then clear water in another pan to rinse them. Then we would dry them and put them away. We would take turns in making our beds and helping mom with whatever she needed…”

 

          
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