Monday, June 20, 2011

DC Community Heritage Project Symposium 2011

7th Annual Symposium to Highlight the Work of Former Grantees and Introduce New Digital History Techniques

The Humanities Council of Washington DC's annual Summer DC Community Heritage Project Symposium will be held Tuesday, June 28, from 6-8:30PM. The event will take place at the Deanwood Recreation Center and Library just across the street from the Deanwood Metro Station. This year's symposium is all about “making connections.” Each of the three sessions will explore opportunities for local history buffs to connect with each other and connect with the past.

The first session will introduce the local cemetery as an historical text. Conspicuous on the city-scape, yet secretive with their stories, cemeteries are often overlooked as a community history resources. Anne Brockett of the DC Historic Preservation Office and Tyrone General of the Historic Woodlawn Cemetery Perpetual Care Foundation will discuss how cemeteries can be coaxed into revealing the hidden heritage of a neighborhood, and the unknown stories of the deceased.

The second session will demonstrate a project that seeks to identify “neighborhood griots.” A griot is a person whose memory serves as a repository for a community's stories. Nearly every neighborhood has at least a few people who can draw on historical information passed down from generations, to enlighten, enrich, and educate those willing to listen. Historian Carrie Thornhill will discuss her efforts to identify neighborhood griots, and how her project can be replicated in other communities.

The third session will showcase software designed to help historians research, as well as organize and disseminate their findings. Sharon Leon of the George Mason University Center for History and New Media will discuss the growing field of digital history and will demonstrate some of the Center's valuable tools.

RSVP today for this FREE opportunity to learn how you can make connections with unorthodox historical texts, with others interested in community history, and with the living past! Register by visiting, calling 202-387-8391, or emailing

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