Sign up for Explore Baltimore Heritage 101—a free four-week class from the Local Preservation School

Over the past few months, we have been working on a new class for people interested in historic preservation who want to learn how to tell the stories behind local buildings and neighborhoods. We’re calling the class Explore Baltimore Heritage 101 and we are excited to announce the four-week schedule for June and July:

  • Research: Tuesday, June 21, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
  • Writing: Tuesday, June 28, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
  • Visuals: Tuesday, July 5, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
  • Outreach: Tuesday, July 12, 7:00pm – 9:00pm

The first three sessions will meet at the Baltimore Free School classroom at 30 W. North Avenue. The final session on outreach will be held in the basement gallery at AIA Baltimore at 11 1/2 W. Chase Street. The class is free of charge and we will provide light refreshments at each session.

Read's Drug Store at the western end of the North Avenue Market, 1929. Courtesy Baltimore Museum of Industry, BGE.12818.
Read’s Drug Store at the western end of the North Avenue Market, 1929. Courtesy Baltimore Museum of Industry, BGE.12818.

Each session is two hours long—enough time for a quick presentation about the topic of the week, discussion and questions, and hands-on projects and activities where participants will practice writing compelling stories, building interactive timelines, and making tour maps. Between each class, we plan to share readings, videos and activities online so you can expect to spend another hour each week to prepare for the next week’s session. The class is led by me—Eli Pousson—and builds on our experience over the past three years of working with contributors for our Explore Baltimore Heritage website and app.

If you want to join the class, please sign up online ASAP; space is limited. We are asking everyone who is interested to plan to attend all four sessions. We know this is a big commitment but we promise to make it worth your time. We have limited space so please register soon.

Eli Pousson and Louis Hughes, Mount Vernon Pride Walking Tour. Photograph by Nicole Stanovsky, 2015 May 31.
Eli Pousson and Louis Hughes, Mount Vernon Pride Walking Tour. Photograph by Nicole Stanovsky, 2015 May 31.

You do not need any previous education or experience with research or historical writing to join the class. If you are interested in Baltimore’s historic buildings and neighborhoods, that is a fine place to start. We do expect you to be comfortable using a web browser (we’ll be using Google Docs, Trello and other free online tools). You should also be comfortable sharing your writing in public.

We have designed this class to teach you how effective communication about historic places can help you to promote preservation and revitalization projects. By participating in this class, you’ll also be helping us learn how to teach these skills to other people across the country. Explore Baltimore Heritage 101 is a pilot for our Local Preservation School project—a new experiment in online education funded by the National Park Service. We also welcome your questions and suggestions—please share your comments below or get in touch.

2 comments

  1. Judy Hannon says:

    Hello Eli
    I am very interested, but would have to miss the writing session as I will be in Los Angeles that week.
    Next concern, any chance of this being given on weekends also? I’m currently working on the exterior of the Capitol building in DC and report to work at 6AM. That being said, I get to bed early. Early start, long commute, makes evening activities hard.

    • Eli says:

      Thanks for your interest, Judy. Weekday evenings were the most popular of the options we looked at in our course planning survey back in the winter but I’m open to the idea of offering a version of these classes some weekend in the fall. If you sign up, we’ll make sure you get updates about the class even if you are not able to participate this summer.

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