Lille Museum nets grant for folk culture exhibition

LILLE, Maine — The Association culturelle et historique du Mont-Carmel in Lille has been awarded funding from the American Historical Association’s Grants to Sustain and Advance the Work of Historical Organizations Program, which provides relief to institutions adversely affected by the pandemic.

This opportunity was made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

 The funds will aid continued development of a permanent folk culture exhibition and planning for public educational programming. The exhibition will share the story of the international region of the St. John Valley from the 1600s to the early 20th century through artifacts, oral traditions and material culture, illustrating the blend of French Acadians and French Canadians, Scots-Irish, Native Americans/First Nations, English and Americans, and how this blend created a distinct place in North America. 

The exhibition is informed by “Voici the Valley Audio Story,” funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, and draws from decades of scholarship and the museum’s extensive collection.

 This folk culture exhibition will be the first of its kind in the region and state. Organizers hope it will celebrate and highlight the region’s unrecognized assets and its relevance in shaping the United States. The French culture and language are alive in this region. The living, blended culture has endured from early settlement in 1785. 

The exhibition will be located in Edifice Parent (former Lawrence Parent General Store), 500 feet south from the Musée culturel du Mont-Carmel, in the village of Lille sur-St-Jean, part of Grand Isle.

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