The Outcome of "Can You Dig It?"

The Opal Project is the outcome of "Can You Dig It?", a participatory action research project I conducted for my field research, completed in 2006.  The following projects are underway. 

If you would like to get involved, or learn more about what we are doing, please contact us!

The Opal Project's Projects:

    •      an attempt at organizing and holding a research conference in the Old Main building at Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center to learn what people who make policy and provide treatment think about The Opal (requiring all sorts of approvals and agreements including IRB approval, in process);

    •      a cemetery restoration project at the Forest Hill Cemetary in Utica, as well as trying to find the cemetery that holds the people who died at the institution in the 19th Century;

    •      a knowledge project of people contributing tidbits they learn about The Opal - this is "Ourstory of Commitment: A living history" on this website.

   •      a poetry project, with the goal of re-releasing the poetry and prose of the Opalians to the public; and

    •      an activism project that uses the materials of the 19th century forward to argue the flaws of the current ‘mental health’ system.


If you have any questions about this research or would like to get involved in any of the action projects, please contact me. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Lauren J. Tenney, MPA

21 Graham Boulevard

Staten Island, NY 10305

(516) 319-4295