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Rebekah E. Moore
African American Arts Institute

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Friday, January 18, 2008

'Bridgwaters Family Photographs’ opens at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center on Feb. 1

Jan. 18, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In celebration of Indiana University's black history, and in collaboration with the Mathers Museum of World Cultures and the IU Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration and Black History Month committees, the African American Arts Institute presents a special exhibition, "Bridgwaters Family Photographs."

Elizabeth Bridgwaters

Photo by: Bridgwaters Collection, Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Indiana University

Elizabeth Bridgwaters

Print-Quality Photo

The exhibit, appropriately being shown in the Bridgwaters Lounge of the Neal-Marshall Center, will open during the opening reception for Black History Month in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb 1.

The reception is free and open to the public. The exhibit will be accompanied by special programming for the Banneker Center of Bloomington to educate local children and young adults about the Bridgwaters and their ideals of outstanding achievement and community service.

"Bridgwaters Family Photographs" will run throughout the month of February.

The late Elizabeth Bridgwaters, a 1930 IU graduate, was the daughter of Preston Eagleson, the second African-American graduate of IU. Her brother, Wilson Vashon Eagleson, married Frances Marshall, the first African-American woman to graduate from the university. Her daughter, Elizabeth Ann Bridgwaters, also an IU graduate and a current staff member, served as president of the Neal-Marshall Alumni Club in 1998-1999. Several members of the Bridgwaters family have made outstanding contributions in their respective fields at IU and beyond.

Through photographs spanning more than 60 years and donated by the Bridgwaters family to the Mathers Museum, "Bridgwaters Family Photographs" celebrates this extraordinary family and illuminates a significant period in the black history of IU and the Bloomington community.

The Eaglesons

Photo by: Bridgwaters Collection, Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Indiana University

Sarah Ollie Eagleson, Wilson Eagleson and Buena Mae E. Eagleson

Print-Quality Photo

In order to honor the Bridgwaters family legacy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s activism for positive social change, and in partnership with the Banneker Center, the African American Arts Institute will host children and young adults for a special presentation and open discussion about the Bridgwaters family, community service and goal realization through higher education during the month of February.

Through this programming, they seek to encourage local young people to uphold the exceptional models for achievement and service outlined by members of their own community. AAAI is still seeking volunteers to assist with this programming. Please call 812-855-5427 for more information.

The exhibit was made possible through a City of Bloomington Martin Luther King Jr. service grant and the support of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.