Brass City/Grass Roots Exhibit Travels to UConn Campuses

The Brass City/Grass Roots Exhibit

Examines Agriculture in Waterbury

and Coincides with

2014 UConn Reads Selection


Torrington & Waterbury, CT – Agriculture in industrial Waterbury?  Sounds like an oxymoron.  And yet agriculture remained robust in the city even after the industrial revolution made Waterbury the Brass City.  A new exhibit, “Brass City/Grass Roots,” explores the many ways in which agriculture, local food processing, and local food marketing have made their mark in Waterbury over the past 150 years.

The exhibit will be at the Dodd Research Center on the Storrs campus from June 1 to August 1. The exhibit traveled to farmers’ markets and other local venues in a number of Waterbury’s neighborhoods during the fall of 2014.  The exhibit is open to the general public and hopefully will inspire lively discussions on the past, present, and future of local agriculture as an economic development tool, a way to revitalize neighborhoods, and a source of fresh and healthy food.  The exhibit also complements the discussions this past semester around UConn’s current book selection for its UConn Reads program.

This colorful display consists of 10 panels with historic maps, photographs, and oral history interviews done with many area residents, and has in-depth profiles of several important Waterbury farms.  A Spanish language translation of exhibit text and places for comments, questions, and stories will be included on one of the panels.

Conceived by Brass City Harvest Executive Director, Susan Pronovost, the display is based on a year and a half of research by Dr. Ruth Glasser, an urban studies and history faculty member at the University of Connecticut Waterbury Campus, along with UConn students and talented area photographers and mapmakers.  Research for this project was made possible by grants from Connecticut Humanities, the Waterbury Environmental Benefits Fund, and the Connecticut Community Foundation.  The project was funded by and was part of Connecticut at Work, a year-long conversation on the past, present and future of work life in Connecticut created by Connecticut Humanities.

The exhibit debuted on February 13, 2015 at the UConn Torrington campus library, where it featured until March 19. It then moved to the Waterbury campus library, where it was on display from March 24 to May 22 and coincided with programming around the UConn Reads selection, Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. 



CONTACT:    Ruth Glasser

University of Connecticut

99 East Main Street

Waterbury, CT 06702 or 203-236-9921