2018 Viola Award Finalist for Excellence in Storytelling
The exhibition Todos Unido: The Hispanic Experience in Flagstaff, housed at the Pioneer Museum in Flagstaff, focuses on how Hispanic residents experienced Flagstaff from the 1880s to 1950s. The exhibit also chronicles the achievements of Flagstaff’s Spanish-speaking residents. Todos Unidos is an opportunity to explore a wide range of complex historical issues interpreted through unique objects and immersive text. The exhibit presents the connection between past and current topics facing our community.
Museum Operations Technician, Breann Velasco spearheaded the efforts to reach out and connect with the Hispanic community, listen to their stories and curate the current exhibit Todo Unidos: The Hispanic Experience in Flagstaff. This exhibit shares these stories through artifacts, photographs, personal mementos, and direct quotes from oral histories.
Pioneer Museum staff and volunteers recognized that Flagstaff’s Hispanic community had been largely overlooked and ignored by the Arizona Historical Society. Using oral histories, city documents, photographs, newspapers, etc. Breann set out to chronicle the Hispanic community’s experience; beginning with early immigration at the turn of the century to the establishment of a vibrant culture.
“Representation matters. Breann has helped show the kids and adults in Flagstaff that stories of Mexican, Spanish and Basque people matter,” states one community member.
The exhibit also includes the use of “Cuseum”, a free downloadable smart phone app that assists visitors in the exploration of Flagstaff’s communities. By providing access to exclusive exhibit media content and location based notifications, visitors can continue their museum experience long after they leave Pioneer Museum.
Built in 1908 as the Coconino County Hospital for Indigent, the Arizona Historical Society Pioneer Museum showcases Flagstaff’s history from 1882 to the present.