“Sharing Our Stories” – Digitizing and Recording Opportunities at the Briar Patch Arts Festival
“Sharing Our Stories” is an academic and community initiative funded by a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities and guided by Christopher Lawton, director of experiential learning for Putnam County Schools and director of the Georgia Virtual History Project. It a partnership initiative of the Willson Center, the Putnam County Charter School District, the GVHP, and the Georgia Writers Museum.
The project is part of an ongoing effort to involve the Putnam County community in telling its own stories, both as context for, and document of, this crucial American literary landscape which gave birth to both Joel Chandler Harris and Alice Walker.
Community members are invited to bring old photographs and documents to be digitally scanned, and life stories to be recorded, by carefully trained teams of Putnam County High School students and faculty. Participants will receive a digital copy of each photo and document they bring, or recording they make, as well as an archival sleeve to keep their original materials safe. Digital copies and recordings will also be used in creating a new curriculum to teach Putnam County students about their history of the place they call home.
Additional partners for this event are the Butler-Baker Alumni Project, Eatonton Main Street, the Briar Patch Arts Council, the Uncle Remus Museum, the Eatonton-Putnam Historical Society, the Putnam County NAACP, and the Old School History Museum.
Common Heritage – the NEH grant program that will aid the “Sharing Our Stories” project – is intended to “support both the digitization of cultural heritage materials and the organization of public programming at community events that explore these materials as a window on a community’s history and culture.”
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.