We are proud to welcome Leah Hopkins to the Haffenreffer Museum's team as our new Community Engagement Specialist. Leah is a citizen of the Narragansett Indian Tribe. She has a background in museum and tribal education that spans over 10 years, working at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), and with other regional institutions, organizations and tribal communities.
The Community Engagement Specialist position is supported by a four-year, 5-million dollar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with the goal of fostering engagement with stakeholder communities in anticipation of a planned move to Providence, RI. The grant was announced earlier this year, and the museum has already set to work formally cataloging and preparing the collection for an eventual move. In her position, Leah will be working collaboratively with Indigenous and Tribal communities, museums and other institutions and Brown University students and faculty to develop, implement and evaluate programming and education initiatives that best improve the visibility and promote the perspectives of Indigenous populations in New England. Leah has done and continues to do extensive work within the New England region to promote the visibility, histories cultural complexities and cultural continuity of the area’s Indigenous peoples, and we are excited to have her on the Haffenreffer Museum team.