Massachusetts has a compelling immigrant story to tell about waves of Europeans, Asians and Central and South Americans who have journeyed to the Bay State over the past four centuries, seeking freedom and opportunity.
Now, those powerful stories are on proud display at the new Dreams of Freedom: Boston’s Immigrant Experience, a multi-media, educational exhibition set atop the Skywalk Observatory on the 50th floor of the Prudential Tower. Taking in the sweeping vistas of Boston Harbor, Logan International Airport, Boston’s various neighborhoods and even a glimpse of New Hampshire (on a clear day), it’s easy to appreciate the immigrant odyssey as you explore the Dreams of Freedom exhibit.
Earlier this month, Exhibit Curator Dr. Westy Egmont welcomed visitors to the Dreams of Freedom opening, and spoke passionately about how Boston’s greatness as a city “grows from, not despite, its role as an immigrant city.” He said the new exhibit can allow new generations of Bostonians and visitors alike to learn about and take pride in the city’s illustrious immigrant story.
Egmont was joined at the rostrum by state Senator Linda Dorcena-Forry, who spoke eloquently about her parents, who emigrated from Haiti to Dorchester; and by Pat Moscaritolo, head of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, who spoke proudly of his Italian father who raised his family in East Boston, running a family restaurant well into his 80s.
The exhibit itself is emotionally powerful, with displays of suitcases and trunks, passports, letters-home and family keepsakes too important to leave behind. And it is historically accurate, thanks to Dr. Kristen A. Petersen, whose research blends together individual stories with ethnic and racial migrations, set against a timeline of US Immigration laws from the 18th century to the present.
Officials believe the exhibit will attract visitors from around the world and also be of interest to educators, tour groups and local immigrant organizations.
President John F. Kennedy, a native son whose great grandparents emigrated from Ireland in the 1840s, often noted that America is a nation of immigrants. In a similar spirit, Dreams of Freedom proudly shows how Boston and Massachusetts were shaped and made richer by its immigrant communities.
For more information about educational offerings or booking a group reservation, call (617) 859-0648 or send email.