The word “home” can mean many things. For some a home is a place to raise a family or a place to lay their head. For others a home may function as a business. Whatever its special meaning, a home is more than wood or bricks. Each home also holds a unique blend of stories, dreams, and memories. Thanks to a $9,978 grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the residents of the Washington Park neighborhood will have the opportunity to share these stories.
The homes of Washington Park are as diverse as the people who live in them. Their tales of triumph, struggle, culture, imagination, and home-making will all be part of the UW-Milwaukee “Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures Field School: Convivial Places/Contested Spaces in Washington Park, Milwaukee” project which will feature an exhibit at the Washington Park Partners public hall, free public workshops and lectures, community discussions, documentary shorts, a neighborhood heritage tour, and a public dance project.
“This project’s use of the humanities to help Washington Park residents strengthen community bonds and local knowledge is hugely exciting,” said Dena Wortzel, executive director of the Wisconsin Humanities Council.
Bess Earl, Sustainable Communities Coordinator with Washington Park Partners—a partner of Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures (BLC) for this project, explains that “the field school positively impacts the public visibility of the Washington Park neighborhood and gives local residents a say in the telling of their history and heritage.”
Research will be led by Project Director Dr. Arijit Sen and an undergraduate researcher from UWM, Maia Stack. They will collaborate with students, humanities experts, and local residents to analyze the built environment, learn by listening to each resident’s story, and finally will create an exhibit to share the woven narrative of the neighborhood. With the help of the grant from the WHC, the BLC Field School will have the capability to expand their final presentations beyond traditional exhibits through the use of documentary shorts and a digitally enhanced neighborhood heritage tour. This new multi-media approach will bring an even broader audience into the conversation. To learn more about the WHC grant, please visit www.wisconsinhumanities.org. For more information about the BLC Field School, please visit http://thefieldschool.weebly.com.
About Wisconsin Humanities Council
The Wisconsin Humanities Council is a leading statewide resource for librarians, teachers, museum educators and civic leaders, who drive entertaining and informative programs using history, culture and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone. The Wisconsin Humanities Council also awards more than $175,000 a year over seven rounds of grants to local organizations piloting humanities programming. For more information on Wisconsin Humanities Council, visit http://wisconsinhumanities.org or connect on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WisconsinHumanitiesCouncil or Twitter at @WiHumanities.