May 29, 2018
Thank you to everyone who applied for one of our grant programs this year! We’re proud to announce the recipients of the DC Community Heritage Project Grant for 2018
DC Community Heritage Project Grants are funded by the National Parks Service, the DC Office of Planning, and the DC Historic Preservation Office.
At Resurrection City in 1968, the Many Races Soul Center was a gathering space for musical performances, community organizing, and religious services. DC Public Library is currently celebrating the history of Resurrection City at a recreated Soul Tent on display in select public libraries through June. The Soul Tent will serve as a physical symbol, a conversation starter, and a mechanism for displaying content and reinterpreting history.
Teenarama Inc. is an organization founded by former participants of the historic Teenarama Dance Party program, made popular in the 1960s. Dancing through the Flames: How the DC Dance Culture Survived 1968 is a project which will engage in research through oral history interviews, photographs and video clips of the impact the civil rights movement had on the Teenarama Dance Party television show in the year 1968.
The Capital Hill Jazz Foundation is an organization committed to assisting jazz musicians, venues and jazz education programs in Washington, DC. This year, the foundation, in partnership with the DC Office of Cable Television will commemorate the impact and legacy of the historic jazz venue Mr. Henry’s. In 1968, the windows outside Mr. Henry’s on Capitol Hill were boarded up and read “Soul brothers & sisters work here. Don’t put us out of work.” Inside the historic venue, a diverse crowd was able to gather to enjoy live jazz music. Fifty years, Mr. Henry’s remains a cornerstone DC jazz music. A lecture and discussion will explore the role of music on the social/political scene in DC in 1968 and the story of this iconic DC music venue.
1968 proved to be a pivotal year for Wilson High School as they made the historic decision to integrate. This year, Wilson High School PSTO is seeking to explore this critical moment by bringing together the broader community to share oral histories from alumni and panel members. The project will culminate into written and video formats of the discussions.
Shaw Main Streets, a non-profit historic preservation and commercial revitalization organization, in conjunction with DC-based production company Long Story Short Media (LSS), will produce a short-form mini documentary entitled “Shaw in ‘68.” The video will feature personal accounts of the 1968 riots as told by residents of the area south of the U Street corridor. Source material will include filmed oral histories of 10 current and former Shaw residents held by the DC Public Library.
The Paul Laurence Dunbar Alumni Federation engages and assists current students of Dunbar High School. This year, the organization is seeking to continue their Dunbar community engagement through The 1968 Memory preservation project. 1968: The Leap year that changed the world; Memories from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, DC will involve current students, alumni, faculty and members of the community in a panel discussion surrounding the forgotten stories of the events of 1968; the death of Dr. Martin Luther King and the unrest that surrounded the school and community in the days that followed. The group will organize, display photos and exhibit of the time period of civil unrest in April 1968, participate in a discussion group, and document key facts on MLK issues raised in 1968 and the status as of 2018. They will also create a digital collection for the DAF website, create a deck of knowledge cards about the facts shared for future use and screen and discuss the documentary produced by Phil Portlock of MLK.
Deanwood Heights Mainstreets
The assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 was a pivotal time in the history of the United States. Some neighborhoods experienced a complete decimation of their businesses as a result. Although not as extensive as some, the small business community in Deanwood saw upheaval. This project will have an emphasis on the businesses’ physical structure, owners, and consumers who patronized them during the 1968 period. The ultimate goal is to provide a visual timeline before 1968, during 1968, and the livelihoods as they look fifty years later.
CAFAM III, Incorporated
CAFAM III, led by cultural activist and veteran photographer Vernard Gray, is seeking to collect and preserve the images taken by photographers who contributed to the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968. Through an exhibition and documentary of the exhibition, CAFAM III plan to memorialize the work of his fellow creatives while capturing oral histories of them and members of the general public.