The Westport (Massachusetts) Historical Society asked for our help with their newly acquired 1710 Cadman-White-Handy House. How might they use it as “a cultural hub around which the community can reconnect to its heritage”?
Students in the “Shrine, House, or Home: Rethinking the House Museum Paradigm” course took on the challenge. Molly Kerker, a student in the Public Humanities MA program, was a member of that class. I asked her about this experience.
What was the most challenging aspect of coming up with a plan to interpret the Handy House?
In his feedback on my final project for Digital Storytelling (AMST 2699) my teacher Tyler Denmead, PhD, wrote, “Your discovery of PowerPoint’s potential has obviously been transformative for you this semester.” Wow, that made me stop and think. “Transformative” is a very powerful word. Falling in love is transformative. Having a baby is transformative. Was PowerPoint really transforming me? And wouldn’t it be a little sad if it was?
Since its creation in 1848 as City Hall Park, Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence has undergone continuous, rapid, and significant change. It has served as a transportation hub for horses, carriages, trolleys, and buses. Buildings have been built up, torn down, abandoned and renovated. Audiences have watched Houdini perform feats of magic, John F. Kennedy speak, and the aerial performers of Bandaloop dance on the side of a building.
On Thursday, April 25, The Center for Public Humanities is co-sponsoring the 2013 Senator Pell Lecture on Arts and Humanities, titled, Now is the Time!: Expanding Access to Arts Opportunities in the Creative Capital.
A panel conversation features experts from Hartford, the Bronx, and Boston, who will discuss how their respective initiatives have made great strides in redressing the decline of arts and humanities opportunities for urban children and young people.
What do Rhode Island’s official state bird, a Revolutionary War Battle, and kitschy 1970s comedian and game show stalwart Charles Nelson Reilly have in common? Their stories will be included on a new mobile smartphone application called Sakonnet Historical, developed through collaboration between the Tiverton Public Library, the Little Compton Historical Society, and students from the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities.
As one of the people who help to run the public humanities M.A. program, I am frequently asked "what do your graduates do?" Whether responding to prospective students, faculty, or staff at local organizations, answering this question gives me a way to talk about the fascinating and varied ways that public humanities alumni are putting their degree to work in the world. Six cohorts of students – about 75 in all -- have completed the M.A.