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“I promise (and I hope you will too) to have a cup of tea, put a few pennies in the donation box, or buy a little something in the shop EVERY time I visit a museum.”

Find out why at The Attic.


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Work in Progress

Apologies for the silence… we are so busy preparing for our new permanent exhibit that there is little time for blogging!  Never fear, we are documenting our process and perhaps we’ll be able to put it on the website after the fact.

Please look forward to the new exhibit, debuting on August 24th. Until then, visitors are welcome to check out our Urban Heirloom Farm.  The vegetables are growing, the rabbits are hopping, and soon we’ll have fish swimming!

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Meet the Staff: Sean

Sean, working hard

We had to interview Sean before he graduates! Sean is a senior at UIC with a double major in history and philosophy. He has been working with us for nine months, and we have a lot of appreciation for his in-depthknowledge of labor history and his social and political activism.  Congratulations on your graduation and best of luck, Sean!

What is it like to be a museum educator at the Hull-House Museum?

Being a museum educator is interesting because though you study the history of the Hull House, you find that when you’re engaging people about the issues, you end up learning more about the people who remain dedicated and interested to these still relevant topics.  In that way the dialogue continues between those who visit the house and those who work here.  This means this aspect of the Hull House remains alive and well.

Any memorable encounters with the public?

There are numerous encounters I will always remember, but what they all share in common is the special relation visitors express to the Hull House.  From around the world, social workers visit the museum because they believe it’s important to see the beginnings of the work which inspired them to follow the paths they chose.  This gives me a great appreciation for the for the work that I do, along with a deep sense of responsibility, because I believe it is my job to reinforce that drive and determination many of our visitors possess.

What is your favorite artifact?

My favorite artifact is Jane Addams’ FBI file.  It shows that speaking one’s mind and following a moral imperative has always and will continue to be a subversive act.  The point of the file and the display itself is not that people were mistaken to believe that Jane Addams was dangerous, but that sometimes doing the right thing will make you dangerous to some.  And more importantly, this could be a good thing.

What do you do when you’re not at work?
When not at work, I’m mostly involved in student activism and organizing.  I participate in a number of student boards on campus dedicated to advocating for student rights, specifically on the topics of recruitment and tuition.  I also work with organizations in surrounding neighborhoods to lobby for the rights of undocumented students and those disproportionally impacted by the policies of neighboring universities.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?

In the next decade I wish to establish myself in the practice of civil rights and labor law.  I have a respect for the judicial system, and like any system it must not simply be followed but also used to set precedent.  I also believe these two categories of law are deeply connected and that social change can be brought about in many locations, whether it be the classroom, the streets, or also the courtroom.

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Another fascinating staff member for you to meet: Ryan!  Ryan might have the most unique job among us as Hull-House Farmer-in-Residence.  He tends to our 1/2 acre organic, heirloom farm with great care and experience.  Come visit him at the SE corner of Halsted and Taylor Street.

Interested in volunteering at the farm?  Contact Kelly Saulsberry at ksuzanne [at] uic [dot] edu

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Last Thursday, we had a special visitor at the Hull-House Museum– Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.

Secretary Solis was here at UIC to promote a new campaign for low-wage workers called We Can Help.  Before the press release, she took a brief tour of the museum to learn about Hull-House’s advocacy for labor rights.  The first female cabinet member, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, had volunteered at the Hull-House Settlement almost a century before.

We Can Help campaign website

Secretary Solis with Hull-House Museum Education Coordinator Lisa Junkin

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It is well known that Jane Addams was a pacifist; opposing World War I was perhaps the primary reason she earned the title, “most dangerous woman in America.”  But today I’m remembering another leader in the peace movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


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Sam Kass (former Hull-House Museum chef), Kathleen Merrigan and others explain the new USDA program to promote and study season extension throughout the country. As part of the program, the Natural Resource Conservation Service will provide funding to build high tunnels on farms in 38 states, including Illinois.


What do you think of the new plan?

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