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CHICAGO— Navy Pier, in partnership with Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, today opened its newest exhibit, “Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory.” The exhibit will be on display outdoors for the first time at Navy Pier’s Polk Bros. Park for guests to experience from Thursday, April 7 through Thursday, June 30.
The powerful exhibition, made possible by Lead Sponsors Fifth Third Bank and United Airlines, and curated by Illinois Holocaust Museum, showcases more than 50 personal artifacts brought to America as families fled persecution and war. “Stories of Survival” features powerful collaborative artworks by celebrated photographer Jim Lommasson and survivors of the Holocaust (including from Ukraine) and seven other genocides, including those in Armenia, Bosnia, Cambodia, Iraq, Rwanda, South Sudan and Syria. Admission is free, as part of Navy Pier’s nonprofit mission.
“A suitcase. A sweater. A Teddy bear with one eye. The personal things exhibited in Stories of Survival—very small things when measured against the enormity of war—are items that real people held close to provide comfort, connection and identity,” said Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner. “This powerful installation offers insightful answers about individual survivors, but it also stirs meaningful questions. What would you take with you?”
Illinois Holocaust Museum CEO Susan Abrams adds, “The exhibition allows the viewer to walk in someone else’s shoes and experience through their eyes the effort to hold on to cherished memories while adapting to new circumstances. The exhibition poignantly shows our common humanity across geography and time.”
Examples of stories to discover throughout the exhibit include but are not limited to:
The “Stories of Survival” exhibit is funded through a special partnership with the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest.
"We are proud to support this moving exhibit. Holocaust Remembrance and Education is in a moment of transition. Now, 77 years removed from the Holocaust, many of the survivors are leaving us. We have a responsibility to rethink and reshape how we remember the Holocaust,” said Consul General Yinam Cohen, Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest. “It is crucial that more people learn of the hardships as a result of heartbreaking genocides as well as the uplifting stories of perseverance by those who endured them.”
Additional Supporting Sponsors of the exhibition include David C. & Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation, Chicago Free For All Fund, Joan & Bill Brodsky and Family, AON, and the Women's Leadership Committee of Illinois Holocaust Museum. A full list of sponsors can be found below.
Special Illinois Holocaust Museum-curated programs are planned for Wednesday, April 27 and Wednesday, June 8. To learn more about “Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory,” click here.
All events subject to change or cancellation. Currently, face masks and proof of vaccination are not required to attend Navy Pier events. Navy Pier will align with the City of Chicago’s COVID mandates as they are updated.
For “Stories of Survival” images for media use (courtesy of Illinois Holocaust Museum), click here.
To discover more upcoming spring events happening at Navy Pier, click here.
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