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Second showing of 'Syracuse's 15th Ward and Beyond' will be held May 27

May 24, 2010

Kelly Homan Rodoski

A second showing of "Syracuse's 15th Ward and Beyond," a documentary capturing the memories of former residents of Syracuse's 15th Ward, will be held on Thursday, May 27, at 7 p.m. at the ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave. The documentary was premiered to a capacity audience on May 22 at Syracuse Stage's Storch Theatre.

The event is free and open to the public; limited seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 218-5711 or e-mail

The documentary was born from a bus tour of old Syracuse last fall sponsored by Syracuse University's South Side Initiative Office and the local Black History Preservation team. The tour went through the former 15th Ward and visited other historical sites, including the Ebony Market, Croton Elementary, Old Dunbar, The Glass Bottom and Open Door Lounges, Ben's Kitchen, the Father Brady Center for Black Catholics and Washington Irving Elementary School.

About 30 senior members of the community, who have lived in Syracuse for at least 40 years, participated. The tour and the participants' stories and recollections of Syracuse's past were captured by local filmmaker and SU alumna Courtney Rile.

The Black History Preservation Project is a direct response to the South Side community's interest in more fully representing Syracuse's rich history. The documentary is a project of the South Side Initiative Office and Black History Preservation team; the Onondaga Historical Association; the Onondaga County Public Library; the City of Syracuse Multicultual Affairs Office; and community residents.

Portions of the documentary will also be shown at this year's South Side Film Festival, which will be held on Fridays, July 9-30, at 8:30 p.m. in the Key Bank parking lot, located at the corner of East Colvin and South Salina streets.

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