Past Events

Open House

February 15, 2020 | 2-5 pm

Join us for an Open House with music by Mwalim Peters…and hear about this master stoyteller’s terrific new book, The Land of the Black Squirrels! Admission and refreshments free. Donations always welcome!

Photo credit: Nancy Viall Shoemaker


Matriarchal Strength: Stories of Indigenous Separation and Border Crossing

February 08, 2020 | OPENING RECEPTION: 5-7 pm

This exhibit tells an iconically American story of immigration, struggle, and triumph. It features nine life-sized portrait images of Devaney’s birth family, and accompanying stories that give insights personal, cultural, and historical. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, February 8, 5-7 pm, with free admission and refreshments. Matriarchal Strength will be on display for the month of February as the museum’s Black history month theme.

Rachael Devaney, who was adopted from El Salvador in 1978 and grew up in Centerville, will speak about her reunification with her birth family after 40 years and her direct experience with one of the most pressing issues of our time: immigration and cultural identify. Her exhibit and personal testimony will shed light on the struggles that Indigenous families have faced since Columbus arrived in the Americas in 1492, bringing decimation of tribal communities and appropriation of their lands, wealth, and resources. Admission and refreshments free. Donations always welcome!

Matriarchal Strength conveys fascinating parallels and connections among South, Central, and North American tribal communities, and their common struggles with family separation and immigration. “Since meeting my birth family in April 2018, I have been collecting and documenting my experiences with them and stories told to me by my 94-year-old grandmother Leonandra,” Devaney said “She was born in the tiny rural village of Apaneca (El Salvador) and she has so much to share about living tribally, and the many trials and tribulations she’s been through.”

For Devaney, the show is also a vehicle to bring awareness to the struggles that Indigenous families have faced since Columbus arrived in the Americas in 1492, bringing genocide, and extermination to Native tribal communities, while simultaneously taking possession of lands, wealth, and resources. For centuries since, first world powers, including the U.S. government, have not only funded civil wars throughout independent countries in the Americas, but readily participated in the continued extermination of Native people by creating gaps between Tribal communities.

“By featuring stories in this exhibit told to me by my birth family—real people who have escaped violence and economic instability in El Salvador—people can begin to relate to why and how mass immigration came to be,” Devaney said.

The exhibit and opening reception will also address Devaney’s thoughts on her trans-racial adoption from El Salvador in 1978, and how she balances her adopted and biological families as an Indigenous woman living in America.

“For most, adoption is an immediate love story between loving parents and a child who needs a home. And for the most part, love plays a huge part in the world of adoption,” Devaney said. “But for adoptees, especially trans-racial adoptees, adoption also symbolizes a loss of culture, language, and familial heritage. The story of my life has been a great one—but also a struggle.”

And as the exhibit continues to travel, Devaney said she’s excited to see the impact her birth family is making at gallery spaces across New England and the Tri-state area.

“Native voices are often intentionally and systematically silenced,” she said. “But with this exhibit, Native people are being heard and seen on an artistic and political platform which speaks to our survival, presence and existence in the Americas.”

More about Rachael Devaney

Rachael Devaney is a freelance reporter and photojournalist for multiple publications on Cape Cod, the South Shore, and New York City. Devaney grew up in Centerville, MA, attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, double majoring in Journalism and Social Thought and Political Economy. Upon graduation in 2001, Devaney moved to the New York City, living in Harlem, where she contributed to nationally distributed magazines like “XXL,” and “The Ave Magazine,” and worked for social justice organizations like the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), which is now based in Washington, D.C.; and the National chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). After moving back to Massachusetts in 2010, Devaney worked for several immigration law firms as a paralegal, but eventually became a regular business and entertainment contributing writer and photographer for the “Cape Cod Times,” “The Barnstable Patriot,” “Cape Cod Life,” Falmouth Magazine,” “Southern New England Weddings Magazine,” “Wicked Local,” and lifestyle guide “Madame Noire.” Devaney also co-founded the Adoption Circle for Women of Color (ACFWC) in 2010, which continues to hold support groups in the Tri-State and New England area. Most recently, in April of 2018, Devaney, who was adopted from El Salvador in 1978, was re-united with her birth family, after being separated for 40 years. Devaney currently resides in Onset, MA, with her daughter Fressia Jones and her partner Juarez Stanley, and can be contacted at

Celebration of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 19, 2020 | 2:30 pm silent march in MLK's honor; 3 pm celebration at the Federated Church in Hyannis

HYANNIS–The Cape Cod Chapter of the NAACP, the Cape Cod Council of Churches, and Cape Cod Community College will host the annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the Federated Church of Hyannis on January 19.

The celebration this year focuses on one of the famous quotes from the civil rights leader: “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people.”

The celebration will begin at 2:30 p.m. with a silent march from the Hyannis Town Green to the church. Live music, readings, and a keynote address from President of the NAACP New England Board of Directors Juan Cofield will follow at the church at 3 pm.

The magnificent image of Dr. King at right is by Pamela Chatterton-Purdy, whose outstanding series Icons of the Civil Rights Movement is on display at Zion Union Heritage Museum during most of the  year .


Black History Month 2019

February 01, 2019


A Fascinating New Exhibition, A Soul & Funk Benefit Celebration, Zion Artists’ Showcase at CCMoA, and More!

New Exhibition: Lewis Hayden and the Underground Railroad, Now through March

Lewis Hayden died in Boston on Sunday morning April 7, 1889. His passing was front- page news in the New York Timesas well as in the Boston Globe, Boston Heraldand Boston Evening Transcript.

Leading nineteenth century reformers attended the funeral including Frederick Douglass, and women’s rights champion Lucy Stone. The Governor of Massachusetts, Mayor of Boston, and Secretary of the Commonwealth felt it important to participate.

Hayden’s was a life of real significance—but few people know of him today. A historical marker at his Beacon Hill home tells part of the story: “A Meeting Place of Abolitionists and a Station on the Underground Railroad.”

Hayden is often described as a “man of action.” An escaped slave, he stood at the center of a struggle for dignity and equal rights in nine- teenth century Boston. His story remains an inspiration to those who take the time to learn about it.

More about this fascinating exhibition


Saturday, February 2, Zion Union Heritage Museum. Doors open 2 pm for 2:30 pm show. “THE LOUNGE,” an open mic bringing together generations of musicians and spoken-word artists. Hosted by the Cape Cod Branch of the NAACP’s Youth Committee, THE LOUNGE will also feature Grammy-nominated Hip-Hop Jazz artist The ZYG 808 (Morgan J Peters, II) and rapper MAC (Madarius Hendricks)— both of whom are Mashpee High School students and Mashpee Wampanoag tribal members, as well as Rock-N-Soul band Conspiracy of Noize. Great event for all ages.Free, with a suggested donation of $5 per person.


Saturday, February 16, 7:30 pm at Cotuit Center for the Arts

Zion Union Heritage Museum celebrates Black History Month with a presentation of “FUNK & SOUL” at the Cotuit Center for the Arts, as a fundraiser to benefit the Zion Union Heritage Museum.

COTUIT – “FUNK & SOUL” is a special concert in honor of Black History Month that is being presented by the Zion Union Heritage Museum at the Cotuit Center for the Arts in honor of Black History Month. “FUNK & SOUL” is taking place on Saturday, February 16  at the Cotuit Center for the Arts, 4404 Falmouth Rd (Rte 28), Cotuit, MA. Doors open at 7pm for a 7:30 start.

Featuring 6-time Grammy nominees, The GroovaLottos, this special concert/party is a fundraiser for the Zion Union Heritage Museum, a museum that celebrates the African-American, Cape Verdean and Wampanoag populations as well as the ethnic and demographic diversity of Cape Cod.

The Zion Union Heritage Museum was founded in part by the Community Preservation Act and the Lyndon Paul Lorusso Foundation in partnership with the Town of Barnstable. The Museum will be recognized not only as a historical landmark in the Commonwealth but a national historic landmark as well.

The GroovaLottos and the Cotuit Center for the Arts have a common link in the fact that the Center’s founder, Cotuit resident and former Motown session guitarist, James Wolf brought drummer Eddie Ray Johnson and keyboardist, singer/ songwriter Mwalim together for some jam session in 2009 that evolved into the The GroovaLottos in 2011, making their very first appearance at the 4 C’s Tilden Arts Center for the Multicultural Festival.

Tickets are $27 and $32, with senior discounts available. They can be purchased in advance by contacting the Cotuit Center for the Arts Box Office, 508-428-0669 x1 or they can be ordered on-line at

In the meantime, enjoy this clip!


Tuesday, February 19, 11 am, Hyannis Library.“Let Freedom Ring,” Music and Poetry of Black History, co-sponsored by Zion Union Heritage Museum. This moving show celebrates such inspirational figures as Maya Angelous, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and others. FREE


The Artists of Zion Union Heritage Museum at Cape Cod Museum of Art, 
February 1-March 24
The Cape Cod Museum of Art (CCMoA) is honored to collaborate with Zion Union Heritage Museum (ZUHM) to celebrate Black History Month with an exhibition of several of Zion’s resident artists: Michael Alfano, Sean Cassidy, Pamela Chatterton-Purdy,Joe Diggs, Carl Lopes, Robin J. Miller, and Claudia Smith-Jacobs.
We are fortunate to have Zion Union Heritage Museum to educate us about the unique history and contributions of people of color to Cape Cod. This exhibition spotlights select work from distinguished artists whose art is represented more fully at the Zion museum,” said Benton Jones, acting director of CCMoA.
Resident artist Pamela Chatterton-Purdy who has created a series of 37 icons that mark the history of the civil rights movement said, “Lest we forget, the Zion Union Heritage Museum continues to educate that Civil Rights is not a dead issue, especially given the current political climate.” She is represented in this show with her recent icon of Emanuel 9, the original of which in the Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where members were brutally murdered in 2015.
The artists in the exhibition are:  
Michael Alfano is well-known for creating figurative and surrealistic sculpture that conveys philosophical ideas and abstract concepts. His life-size bronze statue of an African-American/Cape Verdean holding a globe welcomes visitors to ZUHM. His bronze head Homo Cosmos is on display here.
Sean Cassidy, a Cape Cod figurative oil painter, displays a series of portrait paintings of famous jazz and blues musicians at ZUHM. In this exhibit, we see a portrait of Mohammad Ali from his Historic Origins series that raises questions about the effect of birthplace on famous persons.
Pamela Chatterton-Purdy, a retired art teacher, has created “Icons of the Civil Rights Movement,” a collection of 37 portraits and events of the movement which are on display at ZUHM. Her husband Rev. Dr. David Purdy, researched and wrote the text that accompany each of the icons. They are also the authors of Civil Rights Icons Past and Present.
Joseph V. Diggs is a resident of Osterville whose landscapes and abstract art is often inspired by Micah’s Pond on the property inherited from his grandfather, a businessman who had established a vacation residence in the town when segregation was the norm. 
Carl Lopes, retired as head of the Art Department of Barnstable High School, is noted for his striking contemporary art work inspired by African masks and shields. Images in his work are embellished with geometric motifs and designs in high gloss acrylics. His Nevertheless We Rise is on display here.
Robin Joyce Miller, a retired New York City art teacher and poet, focuses on African-American history and poetry. Her mixed media collage quilts from her book, Rhythms of a Faithful Journey, co-authored with her husband James W. Miller, are on exhibit at ZUHM. Her Mother to Son, based on a poem by Langston Hughes is on view in this exhibit.
Michael Alfano is well-known for creating figurative and surrealistic sculpture that conveys philosophical ideas and abstract concepts. His life-size bronze statue of an African-American/Cape Verdean holding a globe welcomes visitors to ZUHM. His bronze head Homo Cosmos is on display here.
Claudia Smith-Jacobs is a resident of Falmouth whose art is shaped by her multi-cultural heritage. Haitian-American, Cherokee, French, Scotch-Irish, she is focused on injustice in her multi-media work. Her collage/assemblage Are We Still Fighting the Civil War is exhibited in this show.





June 02, 2018 | 6 pm Reception, 7:30 pm Concert
Cotuit Center for the Arts

A Joyful, Soulful Event…

Celebrating the Museum’s 10th Anniversary!

Zion Union Heritage Museum will host Sing Sistah Sing!—a dazzling tribute to Leontyne Price, Marian Anderson, Donna Summer, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and other singers in the pantheon of American music. Lovers of all musical genres—from blues, jazz, and gospel to art song and opera—will enjoy this event. This celebration of the outstanding contributions of black female vocalists to American culture is presented in honor of the 10th anniversary of Zion Union Heritage Museum.

Hors d’oeuvres buffet, cash bar, The 10th Anniversary Celebration Art Raffle, and a silent auction: 6 pm. Concert: 7:30 pm.

Sing Sistah Sing! has been performed to sold-out audiences in Europe over the past two years. The program is conceived, written, produced, and performed by internationally acclaimed vocalist Andrea Baker.

As Ms. Baker pays joyful, soulful homage to women who paved the way for others, she also creates a window into history through her own deeply personal story. Massachusetts-born (and a former student of Cape Cod’s own Maggie Bossi), Ms. Baker is touring this region after living in Europe for twenty-five years. Her great-grandfather Thomas Nelson Baker, Sr. was born into slavery, made his way to Massachusetts, and became the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale University. The long-time minister of the Second Congregational Church in Pittsfield, MA, he lent inspiration for Sing Sistah Sing! via an essay he wrote in 1908, titled “The Negro Melodies.”

Andrea Baker will be joined at the piano by the brilliant multi-talented musician Peter Maleitzke. San Fransisco-based, Maleitzke has a 30-year record of accomplishment as a pianist, conductor, composer, singer, and teacher. He performs throughout the United States and in Europe and has worked for many of the major networks and studios in Los Angeles.

Peter Maleitzke conducted the first national production of Phantom of the Opera, as well as productions of Gypsy (for which he won a Dean Goodman Award), A Little Night Music, Rags, The Most Happy Fella, and Closer Than Ever. During an eleven-year residency at the American Conservatory Theater, he composed music for The Gamester, which won the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award for Best Original Score. He also worked as Music Director for the first workshop of Far From The Madding Crowd, directed a cabaret production of Pippin, and was the arranger and composer for The Three Sisters. He won the Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle Award and Back Stage West Garland Award for A.C.T.’s production of Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera and worked on and performed in the San Francisco Symphony’s televised performance of Sondheim’s Sweeny Todd.

Reviewer Comments

“Andrea Baker is a beautiful, talented mezzo with a sublime voice.” 
Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald
“Andrea Baker…is stupendous, full of fervour, and heartrending. NOT TO MISS.”
BILD Zeitung
(Andrea Baker possesses) “a luscious and full-bodied tone” Das Opernglas


Sing Sistah Sing! Preview

A clip from Porgy and Bess with the Berlin Philharmonic, Simon Rattle conducting.









The 10th Anniversary Drawing

June 02, 2018 | 6 pm Reception, 7:30 pm Concert
Cotuit Center for the Arts

Win a Fabulous Work of Art Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion!

  • Your chance to own a work created by Michael Alfano, Sean Cassidy, Pamela Chatterton-Purdy, Carl Lopes, or Robin Joyce Miller.
  • An opportunity to provide valuable support to the museum.

Here’s How It Works

  • Purchase your tickets for the drawing at the museum or contact any board member.
  • Tickets are $10 each/3 for $25…and you may purchase as many as you like!
  • The drawing will be held at the 10th Anniversary Celebration on June 2 at Cotuit Center for the Arts. Join us! PURCHASE TICKETS.
  • Please write your contact information clearly on your ticket. We will contact you if you are not present at the event.

Enjoy this Preview of the Art Work!




MEDIUM: acrylics w/ metal leafs and holographic paper on shaped wood panel
SIZE: 24″w x 24″h x 3″d



TITLE: “Day Dreamer”
MEDIUM: Mixed Media Oil Collage
SIZE: 24 1/2″ x 28 1/2″ (framed)




TITLE: “HUMBLE Village Students”
MEDIUM: Mixed Media Collage
SIZE: 18″ x 24″ (unframed dimensions)

Note: HUMBLE stands for Helping Ugandan Mwana (Child) By Loving Example. This work depicts the Students of the HUMBLE Place Project in Uganda, which no longer exists. Along with the art you will receive a copy of the artist’s children’s book titled A Humble Village.




TITLE: “Billie Holiday”
SIZE: 16″ x 20″ (unframed dimensions)




TITLE: “Breath of Life”
MEDIUM: Cold cast copper
SIZE: 12” x 8” x 2”










Coding Underground Railroad Quilts

February 28, 2018 | 1:30 - 2:30 pm
Barnstable Senior Center

by Nancy Brunswick. (Free admission)

Icons of the Civil Rights Movement, Past and Present

February 26, 2018 | 1:30 - 2:30 pm
Barnstable Senior Center

Screening of the documentary followed by a discussion with Zion Museum resident artist Pamela Chatterton-Purdy and her husband Rev. David A. Purdy, who researched and wrote the film’s historical material. (Free admission)

Tales of Cape Cod

February 17, 2018 | 2:00 - 4:00 pm

An oral history project of the Kennedy family on Cape Cod. Zion Union Heritage Museum. Donations accepted.

Journeys in the Light, Untold Stories of Cape Cod

February 15, 2018 | 6:00 pm
Cape Cod Museum of Art

Screening of the documentary Journeys in the Light, Untold Stories of Cape Cod, followed by a discussion with the artists and filmmaker. $10 for CCMoA and ZUHM members. $12 for non-members.