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Historical image of the Star Store in 1914

Star Store Stories

UMass Dartmouth Galleries launch oral history project; celebrate 20th anniversary of Star Store campus

Share your stories about Star Store!

Do you remember shopping at Star Store? Did you work there? Have you heard stories about its holiday displays or pneumatic tubes? Did you make art in Star Store studios or visit its galleries? What does Star Store mean to you?

On September 9th, the College of Visual and Performing Arts at UMass Dartmouth CVPA will launch our “Star Store Stories” project. Everyone with a story about Star Store is invited to contribute—workers, shoppers, neighbors, visitors, students, alumni, and more. We want to tell the story of how this historic downtown New Bedford icon intersected with your life. Did you meet your partner there? Did your grandmother take you to lunch there? Did you study there? How have the changes at Star Store reflected changes in the New Bedford area? What does the Star Store mean to you?

As we celebrate CVPA’s 20th anniversary in the building this Fall, we look to the much longer and richer history of Star Store. Help us document and tell the story of the building's history and its place in the life and identity of New Bedford.

To participate, there are two options:

1. You can share a story by phone. It is as simple as calling 508-999-8906 and leaving your story in English, Portuguese, or Spanish in our voice mail inbox. Please try to record in a quiet environment if possible.

2. If you'd rather write it down, or tell your story in other languages, please share it with us by filling out the Star Store Stories Form. You can also share photographs with us by sending them to the email in this form.

We encourage sharing stories about your personal connection to Star Store that include surprising or unexpected information about the building and its history! Recordings of up to five minutes, or texts of up to 250 words, can be accepted. We will compile and share the stories we collect with a general public--in a form to be determined. The gallery retains editorial discretion about inclusion in the presentation.

The window for sharing stories runs from September 9, 2021, through December 31, 2021, and the stories will be made public next year. Please participate—all are welcome! Our Star Store, which has always been an important locus of our downtown, lives on. We can't wait to hear and read your stories.

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