On Tuesday, officials with the El Paso Museum of History (EPMH) announced that the exhibit – Changing Pass: People, Land, & Memories – would be opening as a permanent part of the facility this weekend.
Residents are invited to the free, family-friendly opening event featuring hands-on activities, to be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 29.
“People tend to think of history as static and unchanging,” Dr. von Tsurikov explained of the process. “But history—and the way we tell that history—is an ever-evolving experience. As a public institution, it is our responsibility to tell the story of El Paso with as many voices as we can.”
The opening of Changing Pass, the permanent installation at EPMH, marks a new chapter for the institution. While Changing Pass is not technically a new exhibit for the museum, the approach to its curation and narrative are reflective of EPMH’s new direction and leadership.
Last fall, Dr. Vladimir von Tsurikov was named as EPMH’s new Museum Director, and since then, he and his team have embarked on an ambitious project updating Changing Pass’s content to better reflect the diverse identities of the El Paso community.
For many, Changing Pass is their first introduction to El Paso history. The exhibit serves as a learning tool for classrooms and organizations throughout the area as well as an attraction for those visiting from out of town.
In its new location on the first floor gallery, Changing Pass immediately greets visitors who walk through the door, inviting them to explore and reconsider what the borderlands are all about.
Covering more than 400 years of El Paso del Norte region history, Changing Pass begins with early Indigenous settlers and concludes with ASARCO in the 20th century. As visitors move through different exhibits, they are invited to explore how the El Paso del Norte area, along both sides of the Mexico-United States border, has been defined not only by the unique Chihuahuan desert but by the different groups, countries, and empires who sought to control it. New artifacts, interactive displays, and text panels encourage guests to examine how El Paso’s political, economic, social, environmental, cultural, and religious past has evolved across centuries.