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Exhibit features ‘Unsinkable’ Hurricane Harvey survivors

Bill Rogers is one of the 16 people who lived through Hurricane Harvey who are featured in the ‘Unsinkable: Voices of the Storm’ exhibit at the Johnson City Library running Monday, July 8, through Monday, August 19. Photo courtesy of Todd Spoth

The unshakable strength and resiliency of the thousands of people affected by Hurricane Harvey will be on display at the Johnson City Library.

The “Unsinkable: Voices of the Storm” exhibit can be viewed during library hours starting Monday, July 8, and ending Monday, August 19. The library is open Monday-Friday from 9 AM to 7 PM and Saturdays from 9 AM to 2 PM at 501 Nugent Ave.

A wine and cheese opening reception, which is free to the public, is at 6 PM on Friday, July 12, at the library. Those interested in attending are asked to contact the library at (830) 868-4469 or in advance.

Cellist Dirje Childs joins a readers’ theater group to give the featured survivors their voices during the opening event.

The exhibition features images of 16 individuals who describe the kindness they received from those who rescued them, fed them, clothed them, and cared for them while the Category 4 storm devastated the Texas coast from August 25-29, 2017.

Library visitors can view photos from the hurricane and its aftermath and learn about the determination of the survivors who faced adversity with the “stuff of Texas legends,” according to an exhibit media release.

Library Director Maggie Goodman noted this is a new exhibit and one she wanted to host ever since it was announced months earlier. She made it a point to request it be in her library during the summer because of the number of people who frequent the facility.

Goodman believes learning about the people who continue to deal with Harvey’s aftermath offers valuable insight on the true grit and strength it took to survive it.

“I think it’s important we remember those people will be faced with that storm for the rest of their lives,” she said.

She also noted one of the people featured is Houston resident Andrew White, son of former Texas Governor Mark White, who said he felt called to hitch his boat to his vehicle and head to Galveston to help.

“He was going to different parts of the city, rescuing people and their pets,” she said. “We’re acknowledging those people and their lives will never be the same.”

A panel discussion titled “Remember, Acknowledge, Educate” is set for 6 PM on Tuesday, July 30. Goodman said she is still assembling the panel members. Visit the library’s Facebook page, @JohnsonCityLibrary, for more information.

The exhibit was produced by the Bullock Texas State History Museum; presented in partnership with Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for Humanities; and made possible by Texas Monthly reporters, according to a media release.

Call the library at (830) 868-4469 for more information.

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