Complementing the On The Table Exhibit case featuring items on loan from the Tomaquag Museum, Lorén Spears, Executive Director, will share her thoughts on Indigenous Foodways. With her lens as a Narragansett, Lorén will speak of traditional food gathering in comparison with post-European contact adaptations, featuring the historic "Dovecrest Restaurant" and the impact of food and foodways on culture.
Lorén M. Spears has been an educator for over 25 years in grades K – 8 and more recently as an adjunct professor at the University of Rhode Island where she also received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. Ms. Spears holds a Master’s in Education from the University of New England. She shares her cultural knowledge and traditional arts learned through her family with the public through museum tours, classes, lectures, workshops, exhibits, art shows, educator conferences and other programs. She has written curriculum, poetry, and narratives published in a variety of works such as Dawnland Voices, An Anthology of Indigenous Writing of New England; Through Our Eyes: An Indigenous View of Mashapaug Pond, and The Pursuit of Happiness: An Indigenous View.
Ms. Spears was recently appointed by Governor Raimondo to serve on the Board of the RI State Council on the Arts and serves on various other boards including The Pell Center’s Story in the Public Square. Under her leadership, the Tomaquag Museum received the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Medal. She was also awarded the Tom Roberts Prize for Creative Achievement in the Humanities in October, 2017 by the RI Council of the Humanities.