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Folk Art

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Folk art was an important part of the American artistic tradition.  Most was made to serve a useful purpose, but occasionally things were made simply for the pleasure of the making.  It was practiced all over the world.   In contrast to folk art, fine art is purely aesthetic. 


Not only can we learn about the lives our ancestors led, but we can know something about these artists and artisans who made the objects, whether it be a young girl sewing a sampler, a woman embossing a design on the butter she churned, or a man carving a new drinking mug. 


On exhibit were seventy-five works dating from 1783 to the 1930s in multiple artistic disciplines, most are functional, and some purely decorative.

Delicious .. Enticing .. Forbidden A STORY OF CANDY

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What could be more fun than an exhibit about Candy?  Did you know Whitman’s Candy came about in the 1840’s, Hershey’s chocolate in 1894, cotton candy and Candy Corn in 1897, the Baby Ruth bar and the Milky Way in 1923, the Charleston Chew named for the famous dance craze in the 1925, Pez in 1952?


This exhibit examines the roots and inspirations for many of the popular candies of the 20th century. Mixing the candy with period object in a historical context the visitor will be taken back to fond memories of their youth as popular candy of their day kindles nostalgic thoughts.

Holiday Shop sale

The Ayling Gallery will be transformed into a room full of holiday fare.  A variety of decorative uniquely crafted items and homemade baked goods by local artisans and enthusiasts will include a large selection of tree ornaments, wreaths, seasonal gifts and antiques.

Casablanca (1942)

November 16

A picture that needs no introduction. Everybody comes to Rick’s Café Americain, including amoral police captain Claude Rains, weasel Peter Lorre, Nazi Conrad Veidt, Rick’s old flame (Ingrid Bergman), her anti-Nazi husband (Paul Henreid), and assorted individuals hoping to get on the plane to Lisbon and freedom. With Humphrey Bogart as Rick, Sidney Greenstreet as his rival club owner, and a sterling cast of character actors (including S. Z. Sakall, Leonid Kinsky, Marcel Dalio, John Qualen, and Dooley Wilson, who plays and sings “As Time Goes By”).

Candle Light Harvest Dinner

November 2

The Mortal Storm ((1940)

November 2, at 1PM

This film explores the effects of the rise of Nazism on one family living in the German Alps—some of them embrace fascism, others oppose it. Starring Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan, and Robert Stack.

Halloween in Centerville Village

Saturday, October 19, 3:00 to 6:00PM (children with adult) & 7:30 to 9:30PM (teens & adults)

Mrs Henderson Presents (2005)

October 19, 2019

Judi Dench plays a wealthy widow who decides to open an old London Theatre to put on shows to entertain the troops—shows featuring all-nude revues! With Bob Hoskins.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)

September 28, 2019

​A day in the life of a London governess (Frances McDormand), unfairly fired from her job, who ends up as the companion to a flamboyant, ditzy American actress (Amy Adams) as Britain sits on the edge of World War II.

A Celebration of the Ordinary

September 13, 2019

​September 13, Friday at 7:00 p.m.

Admission: $10/nonmember, $7/member


This two act presentation is written and performed by Jane Hattemer-Stringer, theater artist.


Act One “In The Middle of the Middles” is about growing up as the middle child in a large family in the early 60’s. The middle children, especially in a big family (11 children) are ignored by parents. The advantage: they are free to have adventures that no one else in the family knows about.  The bond developed between the middle children as a result of these “wild” adventures is strong and enduring to this day. Jane tells her tale, playing multiple characters. Anyone who is or who knows of a middle child, will relate to her story. The audience learns what it was like to be a child in the early 60’s, or reminded of that, if they are old enough.


Act Two: “Muddie, My Grandmother With the Cracker Crumbs On Her Shoulders” is about Jane’s grandmother, Muddie, and so much more. Muddie looked like an ordinary skinny wrinkled old lady. As she tells Jane about her life. It is clear that that this woman is no “ordinary” grandma. We learn about her husband, a WW1 vet, and how the war changed him. Through the other characters, all played by Jane, we get a picture of her family- its flaws, quirks, and strengths.  


The performance is 40 minutes. No intermission between acts one and two.


September 7, 2019

Oktoberfest in September

Don your lederhosen or your dirndl and join us for an evening of German song and food.

Authentic German Food, 5 piece band



Jagerschnitzel [breaded pork cutlets cooked German style]

Spaetzle with hunter gravy [German egg noodles with mushroom gravy]

Gurkensalat [German cucumber salad]

Applesauce and Black forest cake


German Beers and Wines



Cape Cod Bavarian Band

Centerville's First Library

through August 2019

​The Centerville Public Library is celebrating its’ 150 anniversary this year.  CHM is presenting an exhibit which portrays the story of the early Hallett Variety Store and the first Centerville Library.


It all began in 1869 when a group of Centerville people met and formed the Centerville Public Library Association under the leadership of Eugene Tappan.  The library was first located in Moses Hallett's Variety Store here on Main Street, where the books were placed on various shelves mixed in with all its dry goods, sundries, household necessities and products for sale.  Miss Lucy Davis Greer was the first librarian.

Country and Western Cookout

June 2018

Come for Food and Fun! This museum fundraiser is for all ages, so bring you cowboy hats and dancing boots to our Country and Western Cookout. Country cookout fare of smoked Ribs, grilled Burgers (beef and veggie) & Franks, Chicken with corn on the cob, many salads.

Adult beverages and soft drinks. Music by the Northside String Band and Line dancing.

Messages from Cape Cod

In the decades around 1900, postcards were the email, texting, and Facebook of today.  A postcard craze swept the world, as billions of them were mailed or pasted into albums.  It was the perfect way to say a quick "hello".  Has the digital age affected the postcard industry? There were 840,000 postcards sent in the US in 2015, down from 3 billion in 1997.


This exhibit features the postcard from 1880s to the 1950s. Utilizing the image, design, and personal message of these postcards, a clear understanding is revealed in the way we connected with others before the advent of Facebook.

Heat Lightning (1934) & Petrified Forest (1936)

Heat Lightning -  She came out here to escape the ills of the big city; her younger sister (Ann Dvorak), a waitress at the eatery, wants nothing more than to get away and experience those ills herself. Then the big city descends on their roadside diner in the form of a pair of randy society dames (Ruth Donnelly, Glenda Farrell) and their chauffeur (Frank McHugh) and a couple of hoodlums (Preston Foster, Lyle Talbot) on the lam.


Petrified Forest Film adaptation of Robert Sherwood’s smash Broadway play marks Humphrey Bogart’s triumphant return to Hollywood after a false start 1930-33. He recreates his stage role as the Dillinger-like gangster Duke Mantee, whose mob descends on a desert roadside café at the same time that a disillusioned dreamer and poet Alan Squire (Leslie Howard, also reprising his Broadway role) arrives there. Working at the restaurant is a young waitress, Gaby (Bette Davis), who wants nothing more than to get out of this desert dead end.

Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937) & The Scarlet Claw (1944)

Charlie Chan on Broadway  - Warner Oland’s 15th and penultimate appearance as the master detective, the self-effacing, unassuming Chinese whom all the Caucasians in the cast underestimate but who always solves the case while remaining invariably polite and spouting witty aphorisms. In this entry, under the bright lights of the Great White Way, he and Number One Son Lee (Keye Luke) solve the murder of a woman who has a package guaranteed to “blow the lid off this town.”

The Scarlet Claw - Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce’s 8th appearance as the world’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his bumbling assistant, Dr. Watson, finds the pair in a small Canadian village of La Mort Rouge (the Red Death), where several murders (in which the victims’ throats were torn out) lead the townsfolk to suspect supernatural forces at play. Are they?

Hello Dollies - International Doll Exhibit

Hello Dollies - International Dolls

Exhibiting over ninety dolls representing forty countries, the Centerville Museum is presenting a collection of antique and contemporary dolls each dressed in costumes representative of the various countries. Many are representative of historic figures, heroes of legend, or folk lore.  Several are depictions of figures from the spirit world created to serve as protectors to the children who possess them.

Poetry Reading / Book Signing

Often Fanged Light 

Anca Vlasopolos's fourth full-length collection of poems and the second she has published since relocating to Cape Cod. These poems follow her farewell to Detroit, Michigan, where Anca spent 52 years of her life, to Centerville, Massachusetts, where she and her husband, Anthony Ambrogio, chose to spend their renewed life nearly five years ago. Readers/audiences will recognize the landscapes, the beaches, the ponds, and the wildlife of the Cape, and they may be intrigued by the depiction of the Midwest. These poems are also deeply personal--about children, friends, losses, and our common humanity.

Baby Face (1933)

Baby Face (1933)

Barbara Stanwyck is an ambitious young woman who sleeps her way to the top of a large corporation. (John Wayne is one of the fellows she uses along the way.)

King Kong (1933)

King Kong (1933) 100m.

The grand-daddy of giant-monster movies, this mythic film is rich in theme and symbolism (and risqué, violent elements that had to be excised for post-Code release).

The Story of Temple Drake and She Done Him Wrong

The Story of Temple Drake (1933) 70m.      double feature!

Miriam Hopkins is the title character in this watered-down but still powerful adaptation of William Faulkner’s scandalous novel Sanctuary. A Southern belle ends up in the clutches of a sadistic gangster called Trigger (Jack La Rue).

She Done Him Wrong (1933) 66m. (originally released Feb. 9, 1933)

Mae West’s first starring vehicle; this is the movie in which she invites Cary Grant (“when ya got nothin’ to do and plenty of time to do it in”) to “come up and see me.”

The Hatchet Man

The Hatchet Man (1932) 74m.

A Tong hitman (Edward G. Robinson) marries the daughter (Loretta Young) of his friend (whom he executed); she runs off with a younger man.

Safe in Hell (1931)

Safe in Hell (1931) 73m.

A prostitute (Dorothy Mackail) who thinks she killed one of her clients, flees to a South Seas island, but it’s a case of “out of the frying pan, into the fire,” as the place is peopled by low-lives and thieves.

Five-Star Final (1931)

Five-Star Final (1931) 89m.

A newspaper editor (Edward G. Robinson) who’s compromised his principles agrees to reopen a sensational sex scandal from 20 years before, ensuring tragedy in the present.

On The Home Front - Over Here

May through Dec 2018

The Centerville Museum examines life on the home front in America during the First World War. Utilizing museum objects, photographs and historical accounts of the day we tell the story of: acts of sabotage against the US; the impact of loved ones left at home; the work women did to support the war effort and their families; and famous music from the day specifically created to encourage and inspire a generation at war.

Annual Holiday Silent Auction

December 1 - 8

The Holiday Silent Auction at the Centerville Museum will be held this year from Saturday, December 1 through Saturday, December 8. There will be beautiful gift baskets; holiday gift items; gift certificates from local merchants, restaurants and services; works of arts, crafts, jewelry and photography; and much more from which to choose.  

Desk Set (1957)

Saturday, December 8

Spencer Tracy is an efficiency expert, apparently, called in to a tv network to observe Katharine Hepburn and her crew of researches (including Joan Blondell and Dina Merrill). Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s figure prominently.

Holiday (1938)

Saturday, December 1

Cary Grant is engaged to one rich sister. Katharine Hepburn is the other rich sister. Lew Ayres is their ne’er-do-well brother. It all takes place on the 12 days of Christmas. With Edward Everett Horton.

Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)

Saturday, November 17

The first American film to confront the menace of the Nazi fifth column and the German-American bundt. Edward G. Robinson is a G-Man who investigates.

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Saturday, November 3

Academy-award-winning picture based on Eric Maria Remarque’s novel of the same name. A look at the horrors of war through the eyes of a young German soldier (Lew Ayres) who experiences it first hand.

Curse of the Demon 1958

October 27, 2018

Dana Andrews is a skeptic about occult matters who has his skepticism sorely tested when he journeys to England and comes up against a magician who uses the dark arts to eliminate folks who cross him. An atmospheric horror film in the manner of the Val Lewton horror films of the 1940s (Cat People [1942], I Walked with a Zombie [1943], etc.).

ADRIFT with Brian Murphy

October 21, 2018

A True Story of Tragedy on the Icy Atlantic and the One Who Lived to Tell about It.  Author Brian Murphy will give a talk and book signing on his newest book Adrift.  Brian Murphy is a journalist at the Washington Post. He joined the paper after more than twenty years as an award-winning foreign correspondent and bureau chief for the Associated Press in Europe and the Middle East. He has three previous books, including 81 Days Below Zero, and currently lives in Washington, DC.


Jacket Design: Kerry Rubenstein

Jacket Photography: David Merron Photography

Arsenic and Old Lace 1944

October 20, 2018

Classic comedy about the harmless (or are they?) Brewster sisters (Josephine Hutchison, Jean Adair) and their nephews: drama-critic Mortimer (Cary Grant); Teddy (John Alexander), who thinks he’s Theodore Roosevelt; and sadistic criminal Jonathan (Raymond Massey), who has a sidekick, plastic surgeon Dr. Einstein (Peter Lorre). Unfortunately for all concerned, Jonathan decides to return to his family home on the day that Mortimer marries Elaine (Priscilla Lane), the girl next door.

Two Rode Together 1961

October 13, 2018

Ford explores the same territory, differently. Richard Widmark and James Stewart go on a quest to retrieve people kidnapped by the Indians. In some ways, Two Rode Together is a more comic version of the same story, though it has its elements of stark drama (just as the dramatic Searchers has its elements of comedy). Also featuring Shirley Jones.

The Searchers 1956

October 6, 2018

The Museum has previously screened two other excellent John Ford westerns: Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) and My Darling Clementine (1946). But many critics regard The Searchers as Ford’s western masterpiece. John Wayne and Jeffrey Hunter spend seven years searching for Wayne’s niece, kidnapped by Indians when she was nine. (Lana Wood plays the little girl; Natalie Wood plays the grown-up version.) With Ward Bond and Patrick Wayne.

To Be or Not to Be 1942

Saturday, September 29, 2018

To Be or Not to Be (1942)

Jack Benny is “that great, great Polish actor,” Joseph Tura. Carole Lombard is his actress wife. They’re trapped in Warsaw when the Nazis invade and must outwit the occupying German forces.

If I Had a Millon 1933

Saturday, September 15, 2018

If I Had a Million (1933)

Remember the tv series, The Millionaire? This is the movie that inspired it. A dying millionaire decides to give away his millions before he dies to a half-dozen or so random individuals (so his greedy relatives can’t get his fortune. Lubitsch directs one of the episodes (the one with Charles Laughton. Other episodes with George Raft, Gary Cooper, W.C.Fields.

Oktober Fest

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Don your lederhosen or your dirndl and join us for an evening of German song and food.

Authentic German Food, 5 piece band

Yesterday's Textiles - Today's Hobbies

Through August 15, 2018

This exhibit examines the diverse and distinct differences between the technology used and textiles created in the pre-industrial era compared to today.  Examples of early samplers, lace, tatting, rugs and the tools needed to create them.

Annual Yard Sale

August 11, 9am - 3pm

The Annual Yard Sale is a major fundraiser for the Centerville Historical Museum and coincides with the celebration of Centerville’s Old Home Week. It will be held on Saturday, August 11th at the museum, 513 Main Street, Centerville, MA, with sales beginning at 9:00 AM. Household goods and kitchen items, tools and hardware, toys and play equipment, books, art and jewelry, small furniture and a variety of other items will be for sale. A great event to find those wanted items for exceptional prices.

Desrty Rides Again (1939)

June 30

To finish off our series, we remain in 1939 and present this milestone comedy-western. A young man who doesn't believe in guns (James Stewart) comes to clean up a lawless town run by villain Brian Donlevy, whose gal, Marlene Dietrich (she gets to sing three songs), falls for the lanky sheriff. Like Katharine Hepburn, right around the same time, Dietrich had been labeled “box-office poison” because her exotic roles in films by the likes of Josef von Sternberg had fallen out of favor with audiences. Here, she remade her image, won fans all over again, and revived her career.

The Women

June 23

From that wonderful Hollywood year, 1939, comes this film version of the all-female play by Claire Booth Luce (screenplay by Anita “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” Loos). Norma Shearer loses her husband to conniving Joan Crawford. Will she get him back? (Does she want him back?) The all-star cast includes Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, and Joan Fontaine, among others.

Black Legion (1937)

June 16

​June 16 @ 2PM free  - movie discussion to follow with film critic Anthony Ambrogio


Another “ripped-from-the-headlines” Warner Brothers social-problem picture. There really was a Black Legion, a sort of northern equivalent of the better-known Ku Klux Klan; it was active in the Midwest in the 1930s. This film dramatizes the effect the anti-immigrant, anti-foreigner organization had on regular working stiffs like Frank Taylor, played by an up-and-coming Humphrey Bogart. With Ann Sheridan, Dick Foran, and Joseph Sawyer.

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)

June 9

​June 9 @ 2PM free  - movie discussion to follow with film critic Anthony Ambrogio


A Busby Berkeley extravaganza, replete with the kind of dazzling dance numbers for which he was famous. Singing and dancing in those numbers (“We’re in the Money,” “Pettin’ in the Park,” “Remember My Forgotten Man”) are Joan Blondell, Ginger Rogers, Ruby Keeler, and Dick Powell. When they aren’t singing and dancing, the gold diggers of the title are busy cracking wise and seeing what they can get from sugar daddies like Warren William and Guy Kibbee.

Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

June 2

​June 2 @ 2PM free  - movie discussion to follow with film critic Anthony Ambrogio


Just in time for the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s novel, we bring you a double bill featuring the monster in his first two outings for Universal pictures—two films famous in their own right but that have almost nothing to do with the renowned source novel.  Boris Karloff gives two marvelous performances as Frankenstein’s creation, and Colin Clive is suitably overwrought as his creator. The films feature sterling support from Edward van Sloan and Ernest Thesiger as two very different scientists in the one movie and the other, Dwight Frye (who plays a different role in each), and Mae Clarke and Valerie Hobson (who play the same role in each, Hobson taking over for Clarke in Bride). Frankenstein still packs a wallop nearly 90 years later, and Bride—regarded by many as the best of the series—is, with its perverse humor, a horror film for people who don’t like horror films. (Don’t be afraid! Come and judge for yourself!)

Mystical Egypt Journeys Through Time

June 1

​Friday, June 1, at 7PM  Admission $14. / person, $10. members

Bring Ancient Egypt to life as you journey through the history and mythology of Ancient Egypt. A well-known lecturer and performer, Professor Katrina Valenzuela has personally led 45 tours to Egypt and has a wealth of knowledge of this timeless and fascinating land. Katrina will present a program focusing on

her journeys to Egypt accompanied by an array of inspiring photos

Espionage and Spies and Weapons That Changed the World

May 18

​Friday, May 18, at 7PM  Admission $10. / person, $8. members

Espionage and Spies

Although much information and documentation about spying during World War I was lost or destroyed, what is available gives a fascinating view of developing and inventive espionage techniques. The presentation will focus on two famous episodes: The execution of Mata Hari and the interception of the Zimmerman Telegram.


Weapons That Changed the World

The opposing forces believed this would be a short war and victory was assured. They quickly learned otherwise.  Battles fields became bogged down by immobility as hundreds of thousands died, and no progress was made. The modernization of weaponry and its uses accelerated the outcome of the First World War and introduced the new war machines that would two decades later inflict devastation.

Assassins, Treaties and Scoundrels and The New Technology of War

May 11

May 11 talks: 

Assassins, Treaties and Scoundrels

The Accidental Start of A Global Catastrophe. This portion of the evening’s talks reviews the sequence of events that led to the start of WW1, the key decision makers and the implications of those decisions on history.

The New Technology of War

As Europe hastens to form battle lines, the methods of the war machine were an inefficient mix of 19th century weapons technology and untested 20th century innovations. This talk will focus on the first years of World War One when weapons and the ability to overcome your enemy were rapidly changing and improving.

Mata Hari

May 12

​May 12 @ 2PM free  - movie discussion to follow with film critic Anthony Ambrogio

Mata Hari (1931) 89 min.

A Spy in Love. Greta Garbo is luminous as the title character, who is both an espionage agent and an exotic dancer, plying her trade for the Germans in Paris, where she’s already seduced one general (Lionel Barrymore) and now sets her sights on a young officer (Ramon Navarro). But she makes the fatal mistake of falling for him. With MGM stalwart Lewis Stone as a spymaster and Karen Morley as an unlucky spy. Pat Talin will lecture at the Museum on May 18, so viewers will have a chance to compare the factual Hari to the fictitious Mata.

Paths of Glory

May 5

​May 5 @ 2PM free  - movie discussion to follow with film critic Anthony Ambrogio

Paths of Glory (1932) 88 min.

When a French-army attack on a German position, the “Ant Hill,” fails, the generals (Adolph Menjou, George Macready) decide that somebody must be to blame (but not they, certainly). Three soldiers (Ralph Meeker, Joseph Turkel, and Timothy Carey) are randomly singled out and court-martialed for cowardice. It’s up to Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas), a lawyer in civilian life, to defend these men and help them avoid a firing squad.

Double Feature Three on a Match and Sons of the Desert

April 28, 2018

Double Feature

April 28 @ 2PM free  - movie discussion to follow with film critic Anthony Ambrogio

Three on a match (1932) 63 min.

In Three on a Match, the lives of three school girls who grow up to be Joan Blondell, Bette Davis, and Ann Dvorak are intertwined, involving kidnapping and drugs. Blondell is the star, Davis is subdued, but Ann Dvorak is riveting as the drug-addict mother. Humphrey Bogart has an early role as—surprise!—a gangster.


Sons of the Desert (1933) 69 min.

In Sons of the Desert, Laurel and Hardy lie to their wives and go to a convention in Chicago instead of on a cruise for Oliver's health. Everything would be hunky-dory—except that the ship that Stan and Ollie are supposed to be on sinks. Now what do they tell their spouses? Featuring comedian Charley Chase as an obnoxious conventioneer and Mae Busch (a frequent performer in Laurel and Hardy pictures) as Ollie’s better half.

Double Feature Night Nurse and Horse Feathers

April 21, 2018

April 21 @ 2PM free - movie discussion to follow with film critic Anthony Ambrogio

Night Nurse (1931) 72 min.

Barbara Stanwyck is the night nurse; Joan Blondell is her day-nurse counterpart. Two small children in their care seem to be very sick, but the cause of their illness is not bacteriological or viral but something far more sinister. Stanwyck must enlist the help of a bootlegger to foil the murder plot. A mean Clark Gable is one of the plotters.


Horse Feathers (1932) 68 min.

In Horse Feathers, the second Marx Brothers movie written exclusively for the screen, Groucho is Professor Quincy Wagstaff, the new president of Huxley College. Zeppo is his son (!). And Chico and Harpo are “students,” recruited in the mistaken belief that they’re sports heroes and can help Huxley win the Big Game against Darwin. The craziest football game this side of M*A*S*H climaxes the lunatic proceedings, but not before all four brothers take turns wooing Thelma Todd as “the college widow.”

Twelve Angry Men

March 31, 2018

March 31 @ 2PM free

Twelve Angry Men (1957). Powerful courtroom—actually jury-room—drama in which the dozen title characters debate the guilt or innocence of a teen accused of murdering his father. With Lee J. Cobb, E. G. Marshall, Ed Begley, Martin Balsam, Jack Klugman, Edward Binns, Jack Warden, Robert Webber, John Fiedler, Joseph Sweeney, and George Voscovec.)  After-film discussion with Anthony Ambrogio, for anyone who cares to stay.

Dancing Queen

Through February 28, 2018

​The Centerville Museum is Putting on the Ritz this year with the fancy gown exhibit Dancing Queen.  You may remember the lyrics from the 1976 hit tune by ABBA –You can dance, You can jive, Having the time of your life, See that girl, Watch that scene, Dig in the dancing queen. In the essence of that excitement and pageantry the exhibit Dancing Queen investigates the tradition and ritual of those occasions like the cotillion, the formal ball, the prom in which an obligatory dress code requires the best gown to be presented. Centerville Museum is presenting 35 historic and contemporary ball and dancing gowns. This collection of formal wear contains a period of fashion design and style from 1865 to the present.

Up From The Deep

Ends February 28, 2018

Deep sea diving team Robert and Maggie Duffy bring to the museum dozens of object retrieved from below the ocean, many from the ill-fated Andrea Doria which went down in 1956.  Objects suffering the ravages of time, a corrosive salty sea and deep sea organisms are displayed alongside the same objects that have been carefully desalinated and cleaned, graphically illustrating the changes the ocean has on objects from above.

The Uninvited (1944)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Movie discussion to follow with Anthony Ambrogio.

“There had been ghost stories on film before The Uninvited, but they were “Scoobie-Dooish” when it came to their apparitions, which were always explained away in the end as a hoax or a dream. The Uninvited, unique among ghost stories of the time, opted for no such cop-out, offering viewers not one but two honest-to-God ectoplasmic spirits. Viewers had to wait for The Haunting (1963) and The Changeling (1980) before Hollywood again offered up anything as eerie and supernatural as this.”


“When music critic (and would-be composer) Rick Fitzgerald (Ray Milland) and his sister, Pamela, buy a cliff-side mansion for a song, they don’t realize that they’re getting a couple of ghosts in the bargain. The supernatural activity seems to center around the innocent young woman who lives nearby, Stella Meredith (Gail Russell), and eventually involves her grandfather (Donald Crisp), the local doctor (Alan Napier, who played Alfred on the Batman tv series), and the sinister head of a sanitarium (Cornelia Otis Skinner). The Uninvited boasts a literate script, well-drawn characters, witty dialogue, and several unforgettable scenes of creepiness and terror. Not to be missed!”  Film critic, Anthony Ambrogio.

Ghost Breaker (1940)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Movie discussion to follow with Anthony Ambrogio.

“This picture (based on the 1913 Broadway play The Ghost Breaker, “a melodramatic farce in four acts”) cemented Bob Hope’s screen image as the cowardly hero, a type he’d perfected the year before in The Cat and the Canary. Here he is re-teamed with his Canary co-star Paulette Goddard, who plays Mary Carter, an heiress who’s just inherited a castle in the Caribbean.”


“The castle is haunted (of course), and Mary is threatened with death if she goes there, but she goes anyway, accompanied by Larry Lawrence (Hope) and his valet, Alex (Willie Best). Besides ghosts and zombies, Mary and Larry encounter Richard Carlson, Paul Lukas, and Anthony Quinn (in a dual role), thwart the murder plot, find a treasure, and fall in love—but not before undergoing a number of thrills and chills and dispensing a quantity of mirth. (Besides Hope’s usual wisecracks, his interplay with black comedian Willie Best has led various critics to suggest that the two act as a comedy team here.)” Film critic, Anthony Ambrogio.

Meet the Artist

Friday, September 8

Come meet the artist Diane Slater. Diane has on exhibit in the Chequaquet Gallery nineteen encaustic painted artworks.  Ms. Slater is a contemporary painter who has recently migrated away from other painterly media and into working with the Encaustic method of painting, a medium that uses beeswax to produce a translucent and radiant result.

Up From the Deep

Saturday, September 2, 2PM

Risking one’s life to find buried treasures is something most of us will never experience. Diving on the Andrea Doria is an unforgettable experience. The lecture series in conjunction with the current exhibit Up from the Deep will illustrate the adventures and perils of deep sea diving, particularly the Andrea Doria by host divers Robert and Maggie Duffy.  The diving team will discuss and present images of their experiences on dozens of deep sea dives to sunken ships and primarily their dives to the ill-fated Andrea Doria which went down in 1956. 

Annual yard Sale

August 12, 9am - 3pm

The Annual Yard Sale is a major fundraiser for the Centerville Historical Museum and coincides with the celebration of Centerville’s Old Home Week. It will be held on Saturday, August 12th at the museum, 513 Main Street, with sales beginning at 9:00 AM. Household goods and kitchen items, tools and hardware, toys and play equipment, books, jewelry, small furniture and a variety of other items will be for sale. A great event to find those wanted items for exceptional prices.

The Muse of Centerville

May 26 - July 15, 2017

19th century fashion meets 21st century designer. 


Designer Aiste Zitnikaite creator of Devinto Studios has worked in conjunction with the Centerville Historical Museum’s costume collection, she has selected four distinctive collection costumes dating from 1850 to 1890.  Using them as an inspiration she has created four unique and original garments to be exhibited alongside the historic 19th century costumes.

Morning at the Museum in July

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 9:30AM - 12:30PM

Children’s crafts, games and activities from the past.  Learn about and experience some of the ways children enjoyed their free time. Play games from long ago, create and play the corn hole toss game; make a paper ship or make paper flags in the nautical alphabet; learn about toys from other countries, including Kokeshi Dolls, and make your own.  Geared to children aged 6-11 accompanied by an adult but all ages welcome.

High Noon (1952)

Saturday, July 8, 2PM

High Noon, one of the first “adult” westerns (and an instant classic), provided Cooper with his greatest late-career role and won him his second Best Actor Oscar. (His first was for Sergeant York [1941], directed by Howard Hawks.) In one of her first films, Grace Kelly plays his new bride whom he asks (via the song sung by Tex Ritter) to not forsake him; Lloyd Bridges is his callow deputy; Katy Jurado is his former mistress; Tom Mitchell, Otto Kruger, Harry Morgan, and Lon Chaney Jr. are various townspeople, and Jack Elam, Robert Wilke, and Lee Van Cleef, who went on to appear in hundreds of theatrical and tv westerns, are featured as the town drunk and two of the four gunmen out to kill Marshal Will Kane.

Ball of Fire (1941)

Saturday, July 1, 2PM

Ball of Fire—directed by Howard Hawks (responsible for such legendary comedies as Bringing Up Baby [1938] and His Girl Friday [1940]) and written by the inventive team of Charles Brackett and future director Billy Wilder (responsible for many great movies, such as Ninotchka and Midnight, both 1939)—is a modern (1941) version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, only Snow White is a stripper and the dwarfs are a septet of professors writing an encyclopedia. Sugarpuss O’Shea (Barbara Stanwyck) complicates life for Professor Gary Cooper and his colleagues (Oscar Homolka, Tully Marshall, Aubrey Mather, S. Z. Sakell, Leonid Kinsky, Henry Travers, and Richard Haydn), especially when her gangster boyfriend Dana Andrews gets involved. With Allen Jenkins and Dan Duryea.

Beau Geste (1939)

Saturday, June 24, 2PM free

Gary Cooper, Susan Hayward and Ray Milland.

Movie discussion to follow each movie with film critic Anthony Ambrogio.

Beau Geste—from Hollywood’s greatest year (the year of Dark Victory, Drums Along the Mohawk, Gone With the Wind; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Gunga Din, Intermezzo, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men, The Roaring Twenties, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, The Women, Wuthering Heights, Young Mr. Lincoln, etc.)—was one of the movies that made 1939 so great. Cooper, Robert Preston, and Ray Milland are brothers, who join the Foreign Legion and face hostile Arabs and an even more hostile Sergeant Major (Brian Donlevy). This best film version of P. C. Wren’s novel of heroism and sacrifice eventually unravels two mysteries—who stole the fabulous Blue Water sapphire, and how did that company of dead Legionnaires come to line the walls of Fort Zinderneuf? With Susan Hayward, J. Carroll Naish, Broderick Crawford, and Donald O’Connor as young Beau.

Mother and Son

through May 20, 2017

Painters  Lois L. Taylor and Shaw Taylor exhibiting landscape artwork that reveals a different perception and interpretation from their different generations.

Chequaquet Gallery exhibits sponsored by E.J. Jaxtimer Builder, Inc. and The Daily Paper Restaurants.

Morning at the Museum in April

April 20, 2017

April vacation week activities for children with Morning at the Museum.

Thursday, April 20, 2017    9:30 am to 12:30 pm $6.00 per person

Children’s crafts, games and activities from the past.  Learn about and experience some of the ways children enjoyed their free time. Play games from long ago, and create and play an historic board game; make a postcard such as a child might have sent to a friend before texting or telephones; learn about toys from other countries, including Worry Dolls, and make your own.  Geared to children aged 6-11 accompanied by an adult but all ages welcome.  Call (508) 775 - 0331 for more information or to let us know you are coming.

The Wedding

Through December 15, 2016

​Featuring historic gowns, photographs, and objects associated with marriage, including historical information and insights on the wedding ceremony and the tradition of marriage.The wedding is a time honored tradition spanning centuries and cultures. Steeped in tradition, custom, and ritual this event has under gone many transformations. The museum’s exhibit, The Wedding, will feature wedding gowns from 1780’s to the present. Within its’ context the museum will examine the similarities, differences, and origins of these traditions, ceremonies, and fashions of the wedding event. The story of the wedding will unfold over many generation utilizing collection gowns, wedding accessories, photographs, and family histories.Sponsored by Sposabella Bridal, Hyannis, MA

Before the Digital Age 20th Century Toys

through December 15, 2016

Exhibit sponsored by: Daily Paper Restaurant and E.J. Jaxtimer, Builder, Inc.

Before the days of X-Box, Play Station, and the App Store there were non-virtual toys and games that captured the imagination of 20th century children. The toy industry of the 20th century was influenced by modernity, the space age, comic books, and television to name only a few.The toys on exhibit were made between the 1920s to the 1970s. Many are not politically correct (actually by todays standard are offensive), many would never pass the American Society for Materials and Testing safety standards. Nevertheless, this collection of toys conveys a strong view of who we were and what we thought of as conventional even important, to the point of trusting them to the hands and minds of our children.   

Thickened Light

September 16 through November 19, 2016

Exhibit sponsored by: Daily Paper Restaurant and E.J. Jaxtimer, Builder, Inc.

Photographer Frank Winters exhibits photographs where the primary theme is the influence light has on subjects. Objects and environments transform under the effects of light, creating something very different than what they first seem. Within the context of the exhibit many photographs will have accompanying poetry which has been selected by the published, award winning poet Al Starkey, taken from his book of poems, Whistling Underwater.

Holiday Silent Auction

November 29 to December 4, 2016

Up to eighty retail and service donated items will be on display and ready for the Christmas season, this is a great place to holiday shop for friends and family. Be sure not to miss it. Come in and place a bid.

The Black Cat (1934) and The Raven (1935)

Saturday, September 10, 2PM - free admission (donations welcome)

The first and second (and best) teamings of horror superstars Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

Universal, whose Dracula and Frankenstein had made stars of Lugosi and Karloff, respectively, brought them together for a pair of outré tales supposedly based on Poe. In The Black Cat, Lugosi, with revenge on his mind, confronts devil-worshipper Karloff, while a young couple are pawns in their deadly rivalry. In The Raven, Poe-obsessed surgeon Lugosi takes advantage of criminal Karloff when the latter comes to him for help. Of course, there’s a damsel in distress—and several torture devices right out of Edgar Allan’s stories.  Each movie is 1-hour.

Movie discussion to follow with film critic Anthony Ambrogio.

After the Old Master

Through September 10, 2016

"After the Old Masters" exhibit is about the Golden Age of Dutch Artists, a period that produced many famous artists of that time.  Artist Muriel Donovan is exhibiting 13 interpretive copies of Old Master paintings she has meticulously painted.  In addition to Dutch artists, included in this group of paintings are two Italian and one Flemish artist of the same period and a French artist of a later period.

The Wedding Exhibit – Opening Reception

Friday, May 13 6PM to 8PM 2016

Live piano music by Katherine Becrelis, fashion models featuring contemporary wedding gowns, and wine sampling by Cape Cod Package Store

Captain David Kelley House 8th Annual Soiree

June 3rd 6-9PM 2016

Advance paid reservations by May 27th: $45 members, $55 non-members, or $60 at the door

Takes place at:

The Captain David Kelley House
539 Main Street, Centerville, MA


This year's theme is "The Groovy 60's"  Think miniskirts, go-go boots, bell bottoms, and tie-dyes.  Mod or Hippie, come dressed for fun.  Prizes for the grooviest outfits will be awarded!  

Live music by Two Cool, hors d'oeuvres, beer & wine bar, raffles, hula hoop contest, and more suprises!


All proceeds benefit the Centerville Historical Museum

FLOWER SHOW The Bride’s Bouquet

Friday, June 24th through Sunday, June 26th from Noon to 4pm 2016

Admission $12 General, $8 Students, $6 Museum and Osterville Garden Club members


The Centerville Museum is pleased to welcome the Osterville Garden Club who is providing a spectacular three day fundraiser presentation for the museum. 

The OGC will be designing and presenting period bridal bouquets and floral designs to display alongside the museum’s historical wedding gowns and period rooms in conjunction with the exhibit The Wedding. 

Period wedding reception centerpieces, period bridal bouquets, historic wedding gowns, wedding punch, and cakes are here to enjoy over three days. 

New Bedford Samuri - Lecture by author Anca Vlasopolos

Friday, April 15, 2016, 7PM

Admission $5:00


Whale oil and exotic feathers became the great sources of trade and wealth in the second half of the nineteenth century. This talk centers on the way in which whaling and the feather trade came together through the adventures of a Japanese teenager who as a castaway came to the U.S. and then as a young man repatriated himself to Japan. Captain Whitfield of Fairhaven informally adopted Manjiro, who assimilated to American culture on the south shore of Massachusetts.

You’re Next – The Loss of Identity in Horror Films

Friday, March 11, 2016, 7PM

Admission: $5.00


What’s worse than being eaten by a monster? Becoming a monster! Forced to do the bidding of a fiend! Having no will of your own!

That’s loss of identity, folks! And you can find it in spades in numerous horror, fantasy, and science-fiction movies, from Dracula to The Wolf Man, Forbidden Planet, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Psycho, Night of the Living Dead, The Exorcist, and many others.  Come hear about this Fate Worse Than Death that infuses so many horror films and imbues them with an overwhelming sense of dread!

The Key Idea™ – Community Art Project

February 19th 2016 through April 23rd, Opening Reception Friday, February 26th, 5 to 7pm, exhibit talk at 6pm with Lenore Lyons

Project developer, Lenore Lyons of Explore Art! The Journal Project in collaboration with the Cape Cod and Islands Art Educators, gathered several thousand art pieces from participants in Cape Cod’s

largest community art project. The Key Idea™, gave people an opportunity to reflect on what is important to them; they selected a key, drew it, then wrote about what that key might open or start or do.

The art work which was created by people ages 1-100 will be arranged on a grid and grouped by age at the Centerville Historical Museum. This exhibit highlights the development of writing and art but most importantly, the changes in thinking. We lock and unlock important things. The Key Idea™ showcases what is important at different stages of life.  People share a sentence or two about something meaningful to them.  Keys have an almost universal appeal; they are objects that recall vivid memories and inspire powerful concepts. Visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to view the responses of the community as well as add their own voice to this ongoing project.

GENEALOGY for the Novice Part 2: Follow-up and Problem Solving

Saturday, February 27th, 2016 at 2 PM

In part 2 more in-depth issues will be covered and the methods and ways to solve problems you are sure to encounter.   Centerville Museum historian and genealogist Bebe Brock will guide and show you the way to creating an effective comprehensive family genealogy.  Bebe is an active member of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society and the Falmouth Genealogical Society, her family tree (forest really) contains over 4000 relatives. 


This workshop is free and donations are welcome.

GENEALOGY for the Novice Part 1: Getting Started and Moving Forward

Saturday, February 6th 2016 at 2 PM

Want to learn how to start your family tree.  Join us and get started, in part 1 we will show you the how and where to start digging and the many ‘tricks’ of genealogy research.  All the basics to get you started will be provided. In part 2 more in-depth issues will be covered and the methods and ways to solve problems you are sure to encounter.   Centerville Museum historian and genealogist Bebe Brock will guide and show you the way to creating an effective comprehensive family genealogy.  Bebe is an active member of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society and the Falmouth Genealogical Society, her family tree (forest really) contains over 4000 relatives. 


This workshop is free and donations are welcome.

A Slice of the 60s, a unique style of fashion never before seen

Through December 2015

Thirteen unique 1960s fashion outfits are on exhibit accompanied by a timeline featuring dozens of events, people and designers that made up that most transitional decade. 


What do Mary Quant, Christiaan Barnard, and Harvey Ross Bell have in common?  They all created a major change in the world, and that is only naming a few.  Cultural changes, television, music, the movies, Britain and political figures all contributed to the influence on fashion and the world. Designer, Mary Quant, in 1964, created the leg-baring mini-skirt.  Christiaan Barnard in 1967, performed the first successful human heart transplant, and Harvey Bell, in 1963, designed the Smiley Face for $45.  


Model and trend-setter Twiggy became the poster girl for 1960s style, especially the Mod movement, with her pixie hair and almost-cartoonish eye makeup.  Fashion was also influenced by those such as U.S. First Lady Jackie Kennedy, whose Oleg Cassini coats, suits and pillbox hats made her a timeless style icon, and English actress Jane Birkin, who epitomized the more laidback Swinging 60s look.  The period was also known for its futuristic bent and space-age silhouettes (PVC dresses and go-go boots) - thanks to designers like Pierre Cardin and Paco Rabanne.


At the opposite end of the fashion spectrum from the Mods, were the Hippies and their unique style.  The hippie counterculture emerged from the West Coast culture of the United States and spread throughout the country from the mid 60s onward.  Their fashion represented a rebellion against consumerism and the clothes were often handmade or purchased from flea markets.

Holiday Silent Auction

Tuesday, December 1st to 5th from Noon to 4:00pm and Sunday, December 6th from Noon to 6:30pm during the Centerville Christmas Stroll, the bidding ends at 6:00 PM.

Up to seventy retail and service donated items. Gift baskets and gift certificates to jewelry and art work will be on display and ready for the Christmas season. This is a great place to holiday shop for friends and family. Be sure not to miss it. Come in and place a bid.

Alan Trugman: The Dress

September 18th - through December 5th

A unique exhibit of photographic based imagery inspired by a Mariano Fortuny gown from the museum’s collection once owned by our own Mrs. Ayling of historic Centerville.

Wine and Food Pairing

Add Date hereFriday, November 6th, 6:30pm

$40 members / $45 non-members


Come join us for another wine-tasting and food-pairing event. Taste different wine selections and sample foods that have been carefully chosen to complement each wine. Gain some information about matching your wine selections with specific dishes. Enjoy an evening of drink, food, and educating yourself about wine while supporting the museum. Hosted by John and Gale Greene.

Anca Vlasopolos: Poetry Reading

Friday, October 16th, 7pm - Admission $5

Poet Anca Vlasopolos will be reading from her most recently published book, Cartographies of Scale (and Wing). Discussion, Q & A, refreshments, and book signing are all part of the evening event.

Progressive Dinner

Saturday, October 3rd, 5:00 to 9:00pm

This museum fund raiser is an epicurean experience in three parts. Enjoy extravagant appetizers and libations in one location, a fine dinner with wines in a second location, then delightful desserts and coffees in a third location.

Museum Members $50, Non-members $60

Alan Trugman: The Dress, Opening Reception

Opening reception September 18th 2015, 5pm to 7pm

Meet the artist and enjoy wine and refreshments.

Summer Nocturne

June 12 through September 12, 2015

An artistic celebration of the star-filled hours between dusk and dawn created by seven Cape artists with Clay, Colored Pencil, Glass, Fabric, Pastel, & Photography


Featured Artists:
Betsy Pane Cook, Hollis Engley, Julie Lariviere, L. Michelle Law, Yukimi Matsumoto, Kimberly Jane Sheerin, & Frank Winters


Fashion Is In The Bag

September 26 through Spring 2015

Centerville Museum's ‘A Year in Fashion’ exhibit series continues with the opening of a new exhibit, 'Fashion is in the Bag'. The Handbag, Purse, Reticule, Clutch: they come in many forms and have had many modifications and transformations but at the end of the day their function remains the same. Or does it? The purpose and style of the purse has changed significantly as the life-style and responsibilities of women have changed. This exhibit examines this topic as well as exploring these beautifully fashionable, functional objects. 

Bloomers To Bikinis

Through August 30, 2015

Centerville Museum’s ‘Year of Fashion’ exhibit series continues with the opening of the exhibit Bloomers to Bikinis. This exhibit chronicles the distinctive changes in bathing suit fashions from 1900 to the present. Hollywood starlets of the 1920s, 30s and 40s directly affected the design changes in swimwear. In the 1950s and 60s, actresses like Annette Funicello (Beach Blanket Bingo) and Ursula Andress (Dr. No) helped to determine swimwear fashions. In the next two decades, super models influenced styles of that era, including Christie Brinkley and Cheryl Tiegs. Since 1964, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions have affected what is new and daring in swimsuits. 

Painting Nocturnes in Pastel

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015, 2:00 to 3:30pm, Free Admission

Join us for a pastel demonstration by Cape artist Betsy Payne Cook who will provide a glimpse into her approach to painting with pastels. She is an avid plein air painter and attributes her time painting outdoors to how she approaches painting in her studio. Betsy’s paintings capture daylight from sunny to overcast days and the night with its natural & artificial lights.

An Evening of Brazilian Music

Thursday, August 20th, 7pm

The Ron Or Msby Trio from São Paulo, Brasil, featuring Ron Ormsby on bass, Fabiano de Castro on piano, and Claudio Oliveira on drums!  

Tickets $10


Fabiano de Castro is a Brazilian pianist and composer. He was selected first out of 165 South American contestants in the “New Talent of Jazz 2013.”  As winner, he appeared in the Savassi Festival in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.  


Ron Ormsby (aka Ron Or Msby) is a jazz bassist originally from Boston, where he studied at Berklee College of Music.  In addition to performing at many of the local Boston jazz clubs, he was a founding member of the Boston Jazz Quartet. 


Claudio Oliveira is a drummer and percussionist from São Paulo, Brazil.  Claudio began his studies in Brazil with Professor Ricardo Fernandez and Dirceu Medeiros and a few years later he studied at the LAMA (Los Angeles Music Academy) with Joe Porcaro and Ralph Humphrey among others.  

10th Annual Museum Yard Sale!

August 8, 2015, 9:00AM to 3:00PM

The annual Centerville Museum Yard Sale during Old Home Week, will be on Saturday, August 8, 2015 from 9 to 3.  It is a huge sale with a wide variety of objects ranging from the old (antique) to the new.  One huge truckload has been contributed by an estate in Osterville - many lamps, including alabaster, gardening tools, boating equipment, light green Calyx dish set, etc.  Among the treasures is an 1869 mantel clock made by the Ansonia Brass and Copper Co.  There is something for everyone!!!  

Centerville Village House & Walking Tour

June 25, 2015, 10:00AM to 3:00PM

Tour Centerville homes, and if you wish have Luncheon at the Centerville Library.


Tickets are available at the Museum and also at the Centerville Public Library.

House Tour Tickets $30

Luncheon at the Library $18 (separate charge in addtion to tour)

Summer Nocturne Opening Reception

Friday, June 12, 5 - 7pm

Clay, Colored Pencil, Glass, Fabric, Pastel, & Photography


Featuring Artists:
Betsy Pane Cook, Hollis Engley, Julie Lariviere, L. Michelle Law, Yukimi Matsumoto, Kimberly Jane Sheerin, & Frank Winters

7th Annual Captain’s Soiree

Friday, June 5th, 6:00 to 9:00PM

This Museum Fund Raising Event is hosted by and held at:

Captain David Kelley House  539 Main Street  Centerville


Join us for an early evening lawn & veranda soiree 

with exceptionally tasty victuals and great libations.

Our theme this year is: the color WHITE

Theme prizes for the best and most imaginative white outfits

Raffle of elegant items


Live Music by Two Cool

Melanie Chartier, Contemporary Still Life

March 31 through May 23, 2015

Recent oil paintings inspired by east coast living and infused with elegant wit by Cape Cod artist Melanie Chartier.

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS - Costume designs by Breanna Billiter

June 21 Through August 30, 2014

In keeping with the 2014 theme ‘A Year in Fashion’ CHM presents the fantasy costume fashion designs of Breanna Billiter. This collection of six costumes is based on all the wonders of childhood dreams and our ability to daydream. One feature of the collection ‘Follow Your Dreams’ is the transformation from an elaborate day dress into the costumes of a mermaid tale, a dancing ballerina, a winged fairy, and a princess ball gown. This is a costume collection with a strong fantasy influence, bright cheerful colors and grand embellishment. Billiter say of her works, “I adore being able to be conceptual with my art and love making one of a kind garments that visually can communicate either a point of view, a feeling, or a story.” 

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