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Peopling Of America CenterĀ® Grand Opening

March 23rd, 2015

ELLIS ISLAND MUSEUM TO BECOME THE ELLIS ISLAND NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IMMIGRATION

GRAND OPENING OF THE PEOPLING OF AMERICA CENTER® ABOUT THE POST-ELLIS ISLAND ERA COMPLETES CHRONICLING OF IMMIGRATION FROM THE 1600s TO TODAY

GRAND OPENING WEDNESDAY, MAY 20

The Peopling of America Center® at Ellis Island, new major exhibitions that chronicle immigration to America before the processing station at Ellis Island opened in 1892 and after it closed in 1954, will open to the public on Wednesday, May 20. With the completion of the post-Ellis Island era exhibition, and the entire story of American immigration now being told, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum will be renamed the “Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration,” and become the country’s official museum chronicling all immigration from the colonial era to today.

“We are very excited to have developed with our partners at the National Park Service a museum that represents all eras of immigration to the United States,” says Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation President and CEO Stephen Briganti. “The museum’s transformation begins in the historic Baggage Room, which sets the stage for the centuries of immigration now featured. Visitors will first experience the interactive World Migration Globe, where they can trace patterns of movement throughout human history. It gives us all a better sense of how extensive our ‘family trees’ actually could be.”

The new post-Ellis Island wing, “The Journey: New Eras of Immigration,” focuses on immigration from 1954 to present times. It reflects the rapid pace of technological progress that has characterized migration since World War II and the challenges and opportunities faced by immigrants in the modern world. Exhibits use dynamic media and interactive elements to display the post-war immigration movement and changing demographic trends over the decades. Film vignettes feature new immigrants sharing their first-hand accounts of arriving and living in America.

The pre-Ellis Island galleries, "Journeys: The Peopling of America – 1550s-1890," opened in 2011, and explore the stories of the earliest arrivals including Native Americans, those who arrived against their will, and immigration during the Colonial and Victorian eras until the opening of Ellis Island in 1892. First-hand accounts of the immigrant’s journey are told through interpretive graphics and poignant audio stories.

Continuing its long-term relationship with the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and the National Park Service, experience design firm ESI Design conceived and designed The Peopling of America Center’s exhibits, which Hadley Exhibits, Inc. fabricated; History Channel produced and underwrote all of the media.

Supporters of the Center include Bank of America, The Coca-Cola Company, The Annenberg Foundation, Michael and Linda Donovan and History Channel, which produced and underwrote all audio and video presentations. Additional supporters are listed on www.LibertyEllisFoundation.org.

Ferry tickets and boat schedules to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are available at www.StatueCruises.com. Ferries depart from Battery Park in New York City and Liberty State Park in Jersey City.

About The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to raise funds for and oversee the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, working in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior. In addition to restoring the monuments, the Foundation created museums on both islands, The American Immigrant Wall of Honor®, the American Family Immigration History Center®, and its newest project, The Peopling of America Center® which has transformed the museum into the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. The Foundation’s endowment has funded over 200 projects at the islands.

About ESI Design ESI Design has been a pioneer in experience design and audience engagement since in its founding by Edwin Schlossberg in 1997. The firm specializes in imagining and creating immersive and interactive environments that help brands, corporations and cultural institutions engage with audiences and customers in innovative, more meaningful ways. A New York-based, multidisciplinary firm, ESI Design has realized memorable experiences, exhibits and environments for such clients as Barclays, AT&T, Comcast, The Edward M. Kennedy Institute, eBay, The Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty Foundation and National Park Service, Beacon Capital, PNC and Barclays. 

CONTACT:

Brady Littlefield (212) 843-9220 / blittlefield@rubenstein.com

Peg Zitko (212) 561-4517 / pzitko@ellisisland.org

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