The Orange Historical Society will hold its annual Taste of the Past event on Saturday, April 8, from 1:00 to 3:30 pm at the Orange Congregational Church Community Room, located on Orange Center Road. Highlight of the program will be Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti appearing as Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave who became a leading abolitionist. A light lunch of homemade soups, breads and desserts will be served at 1:00. The performance will begin at 2:30. The annual event, celebrating its eleventh anniversary this year, also includes a silent auction of gift baskets and gift certificates.
Harriet Tubman, a woman of unique qualities and abilities even though she was illiterate, maintained an unblemished record of vigilance, a legacy of sacrifice and struggle. Born into slavery as Araminta Ross in Maryland in 1822, she was an American abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the United States Army during the American Civil War. In 1849, Tubman escaped to Philadelphia and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era was an active participant in the struggle for women’s suffrage.
Dedicated to studying the character, philosophy, courage and grace that have helped black American women survive and flourish; Quezaire-Presutti is an Artist-in-Residence at the Connecticut Historical Society Museum. She is an International Award Winning Toastmaster and the recipient of the Director’s Award for Excellence from the Institute of Texan Cultures. She is the 2006 recipient of the Boston Fund Artist Fellowship through the Greater Hartford Arts Council. A member of The Connecticut Storytelling Center, Quezaire-Presutti is also a member of Association for Study of Connecticut History, The African American Museum, New England History Teachers Association and The International Museum Theatre Alliance.
The Orange Historical Society is committed to preserving Orange history for future generations. Sponsors are needed for this event in order to raise the funds needed to maintain the Academy Museum and the 1830 Stone-Otis House, both located on Orange Center Road, as well as raising funds to complete the restoration of the 1740 Bryan-Andrew House, located on Old Tavern Road.
Volunteers are needed to cook, bake, or serve. Call Phyllis Gwatkin, chair of the event, at 203-795-4549. For donations of gift baskets or gift certificates for the silent auction, call Priscilla Searles at 203-397-1465.
Because the Orange Historical Society expects this event to sell out, reservations are required. Tickets are $25 and will be sold first come, first served. No tickets will be sold at the door. Make checks payable to Orange Historical Society and send to: Orange Historical Society Taste of the Past, P.O. Box 784, Orange, CT 06477. Include your name, phone number, guests’ names (if purchasing more than one ticket) and email with reservation.
Pictured: Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti as Harriet Tubman