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CWU Extends “The Things We Carry” Exhibit to June 11

 Photo of Barbara Hammersberg holding a dress and passport

A toddler’s brown and white polka-dotted dress adorned with a white ruffle collar and bow hangs next to an infant’s travel certificate in the Central Washington University Museum of Culture and Environment exhibit.

The passport photo is of Barbara Hammersberg; the dress belongs to her adoptive sister. Both are now adults who hold their possessions near to their hearts. The items are in many respect the only memories they have from Korea before being brought to their adoptive home in America.

Their stories are just two of many being told through family artifacts and meaningful keepsakes, all of which are on display in the “The Things We Carry” exhibit.

The exhibition which opened in January will extend its show through June 11. The additional months will allow for more Kittitas County residents to contribute their family keepsakes to the exhibit. The museum also hopes to attract more visitors to come learn of other family’s moving stories.

What’s your moving story? We want to share it!

Submissions should include:

1. A photograph of the object you would like us to consider

2. Your family migration or movement story, explaining the object’s significance,  in 250 words or less

3. (Optional) A three-inch self-portrait.

Submit entry electronically, by emailing Alternatively, mail or deliver a printed version to the museum’s physical address: Dean Hall rm. 122, 1200 Wildcat Way, Ellensburg between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Entries must be received by March 19. Physical objects cannot be accepted at this time.

If the museum chooses to borrow and display the object, it will be on display for a three-month period.

The Things We Carry takes an intimate look into the movement and migration of local families through their family’s mementos. Whether moving to another country, across the state, or a relatively short distance these moving stories are often associated with memorabilia—an item kept as a treasured memory.

This exhibit helps support the university’s year-long Social Justice and Human Rights Dialogues about migration and immigration. It’s also part of CWU’s 2017 Big Read program—encouraging the community to read and discuss Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried.

The Museum of Culture and Environment is located on the first floor of Dean Hall. Admission is always free and regular visitation hours, during the academic term, are Wednesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The museum will be closed for spring break from March 12-28. Parking on the CWU campus is free on weekends and after 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, contact or go to

Big Read LogoBig Read Logo“NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.”

“El proyecto NEA Big Read es una iniciativa del National Endowment for the Arts (el Fondo Nacional para las Artes de Estados Unidos) en cooperación con Arts Midwest.”

Media contact: Dawn Alford, public affairs coordinator, 509-963-1484,

--March 3, 2017

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