Tag: #localpast

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.

Explore Baltimore Heritage 101 teaches you how to discover and share stories of historic places

In January 2016, Baltimore Heritage is offering a free course—Explore Baltimore Heritage 101—designed to teach local residents how to research, write and share the stories of historic places in their communities. The course is going to cover four main themes:

  1. Research: How to use digital sources to learn about local history and architecture
  2. Writing: How to write about historic places for local audiences
  3. Visuals: How to combine writing with maps, photos, and graphics
  4. Outreach: How to reach local audiences with online engagement and public programs

Our goal is not to make you an “expert” on Baltimore history. Instead, we want to help you become a better researcher, writer, historian and teacher. Explore Baltimore Heritage 101 is an opportunity to connect with friends and neighbors who share an interest in the stories of Baltimore’s historic buildings and neighborhoods.

Please sign up to hear more about Explore Baltimore Heritage 101—we expect to publish the course schedule and open registration soon!

Over the course of five class sessions, we plan to guide a group of students through the process of sharing a story about a historic place including the opportunity to publish a story on our Explore Baltimore Heritage website and app.

Dr. James Deetz (1977)

We know you and your community have stories to share. Important stories are found everywhere around us—in parks, public art, rowhouses and schools. And good stories about places are really about people. Historian Eric Sandweiss explained it neatly:

“[the history of a city street] means little if it’s not tied to the story of the farmer who sold the land, the developer who bought it from him, the families who campaigned to have it paved, the men who laid the asphalt, or the children who rode their bikes on it.”

By empowering you to connect stories from the past with places found in your neighborhood today, we know we are helping you to build a stronger future for Baltimore. Supporting local residents like you is our central goal for the Local Preservation School—our new experiment in online education funded by the National Park Service. This winter class is our first step in creating free open online educational resources that people across the United States can use to get more involved with saving historic places in their own communities.

Even if you can’t join is for our class this winter, we invite you to subscribe to the Local Preservation School newsletter, follow @localpast on Twitter, share links or comments with the #localpast hashtag, or get in touch with your questions or suggestions.

"The past is not the property of historians; it is a public possession. It belongs to anyone who is aware of it, and it grows by being shared."

P.S. Thanks to everyone who has already completed our course planning survey. The survey is still open for responses so please share your comments and help us put together a great class this winter!