“Growing up Portuguese in Lowell”


Lowell, MA – “Growing Up Portuguese in Lowell as a Descendant of the Second Wave of Immigration (1959-1983),” a talk by five Portuguese-Americans: John Mello, Jr., Susana Martins, Judy Vitorino, Steve Mendonça, and Aaron Sickles, whose family origins in Lowell harken back to the second half of the 20th century, when their parents and/or grandparents immigrated in search of the American Dream.

Join us for the following activities on May 11:

  • When: Saturday, May 11, 2019 from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Where: Events Center, Boot Cotton Mills Museum
    • 115 John Street, Lowell MA
    • Parking is available at the Downes Garage on 75 John St.
  • Cost: Free


  • 10 a.m.: Keynote address by Prof. Robert Forrant: “Overworked, Underpaid, But Making Their Way: The Portuguese in Lowell, 1880-1980,” on the two waves of Portuguese immigration to Lowell.
  • 11:15 a.m.: a facilitated panel discussion, “Portuguese-American Elected Officials and Public Service in Massachusetts,” with five State Senators and Representatives.
  • 1:30 p.m.: A facilitated panel discussion, “Growing Up Portuguese in Lowell as a Descendant of the Second Wave of Immigration (1958-1983).”
  • 3-3:30 p.m.: A concert by Holy Ghost Marching Band of Lowell, Boarding House Park.
Lowell City Hall

This facilitated panel discussion will illuminate personal stories, experiences, and influences in Lowell’s Portuguese community.

These individuals remember their youth and young adulthood in Lowell, a slice of Lowell life from the Portuguese and multi-ethnic neighborhoods of the last several decades.

Please note, parking is at the Downes Garage, 75 John Street, or on the street for metered parking.

This program is part of the celebrations of the Fifth Anniversary of the Saab Center for Portuguese. The program is also part of an ongoing, traveling exhibit, “From the Atlantic Islands to Lowell, Massachusetts: Continuity and Change in the Mill City’s Portuguese Community,” which will be on view during the colloquium.

For more information contact the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies at the natalia_melo@uml.edu or 978.934.5199.

The day’s events start with a lecture on the history of the Portuguese in Lowell by Prof. Robert Forrant, Distinguished History Professor at UMass Lowell, and conclude with a concert by the Holy Ghost Marching Band of Lowell in Board House Park at 3:00 p.m.

Founded in 2013, with a generous gift from the Saab Family Fund, the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies promotes the multidisciplinary study of the language, literature, and culture of the vast and varied Portuguese speaking world comprised of over 250 million people in eight countries on four continents and its diaspora.


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