Tag Archive


Fragile history in a gentrifying neighborhood

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Over the past few years, I have been writing about gentrification and how it intersects with history in an Atlanta, Georgia, suburb. Twenty-five months and more than 50 interviews after I started talking with people and documenting neighborhood change in the Oakhurst area of Decatur, I met playwright Valetta Anderson, who works at Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center. Read More

History without vision: A struggle over art at the City Museum of New York

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Muralist and activist Mike Alewitz has finished his tribute to the labor and social justice movements, an imposing four-panel painting titled The City at the Crossroads of History–but the museum it was commissioned for doesn’t want it.

The Puffin Foundation, a grant maker that frequently supports politically left artists, engaged Alewitz to create the mural for a new gallery at the Museum of the City of New York. Read More

Guantánamo Public Memory Project: Three experiments in public engagement by public history at Arizona State University

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Editor’s Note: This piece continues a series of posts related to the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, a collaboration of public history programs across the country to raise awareness of the long history of the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay (GTMO) and foster dialogue on its future.   Read More

Community engagement across disciplinary boundaries

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For most of my experience as a public-historian-in-training, I did not often think about the arts in any purposeful way.  I played in an orchestra from elementary school through college, have a not-so-secret love for musicals (my roommates are probably tired of hearing me sing Disney songs in the shower!), Read More

The bubble and the tent: Keeping culture accessible at the Smithsonian Institution

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hirshhorn-bubbleWith the resignations of the Hirshhorn Museum’s director and the chairman of its board of trustees this summer, the Bubble, or Seasonal Inflatable Structure, project (at left) has collapsed in a very public way. As the Bubble deflated under the weight of its projected costs, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, a different kind of venue for arts and culture, continued its long run of phenomenal success. Read More

Art, history, and interpretation

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I recently started a new position at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as a Curatorial and Interpretation Fellow, for which my Public History degree from American University has been (and will continue to be) invaluable. Understanding art through history and vice versa is one of the joys of curatorial work in an art museum, but interpreting cultural, historical, religious and aesthetic context to a wider audience can be a real challenge. Read More