PROGRAM: DC Community Heritage Project

Presented by:
Humanities Council of Washington, DC
Local Partner: Nonprofits, Other Subject: History, Other Audience: All

Humanities DC and the DC Historical Preservation Office created the DC Community Heritage Project Grant in 2005 as a way to support residents at a grassroots level working to preserve their own communities. This unique partnership between a government agency and a nonprofit organizations continues to strengthen historic preservation and has helped form a network of local preservationists who proudly document the history and culture of the city. Before the DC Community Heritage Project, accelerating demographic changes and new building projects meant that neighborhood history often got lost in the shuffle of a transient culture.

Showcase and Symposium

Each December, the project grantees present a public program at which they display their final products. The event includes a symposium portion that provides expert advice on best practices in the public history and historic preservation fields as well as theoretical and philosophical sessions.

Ambassadors’ Workshops

The project sponsors three annual workshops aimed at building the capacity and knowledge of former and prospective grantees, amateur historians, and anyone else interested in preserving the history and culture of their neighborhoods. Past sessions have focused on personal digital archiving, videography, and oral history.

House History Days

The project, with the DC Public Library Washingtoniana Division, and the Historical Society of Washington, DC, sponsors two House History Days per year. Each day consists of two identical workshops (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) during which participants are taught how to research the history of a historic property using the collections at Washingtoniana and the Historical Society.

[Per the council’s website, 2017]