Posts Tagged Social Media
I am excited to announce that Preservation Maryland will soon kick of the Rosenwald Schools of Maryland Initiative. The Rosenwald School building program played a prominent and pivotal role in the education of African Americans in the early 20th century. A result of a partnership between Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Institute and Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears, Roebuck and Company, the Rosenwald Fund provided matching grants for more than 5,000 schools, shops, and teacher’s residences built in 15 southern states, between 1917 and 1932. The schools became obsolete in 1954 with the Supreme Court ruling that outlawed segregation in education. Many of the schools were abandoned or demolished and their invaluable contributions forgotten. There are an estimated 800 schools still standing around the country.
Despite their critical role in the education of a large portion of the southern population, Rosenwald Schools are a largely unfamiliar component of the educational history of the United States. As a consequence, the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) named Rosenwald Schools to its 2002 list of Most Endangered sites. More recently, Rosenwald Schools were designated as one of the first thirty-two of the National Trust’s “National Treasures.” A result of the restructuring of the National Trust, the campaign will eventually establish a portfolio of 100 National Treasures to preserve and protect, with the direct assistance of local preservation partners such as Preservation Maryland.
Of the more than 5,000 Rosenwald program buildings constructed, only 156 of the schools and ancillary structures were built in Maryland. However our state boasts a higher percentage than average of extant schools, with 53 currently surviving. Additionally, Maryland is one of the few states where a survey of the schools has been completed. A Multiple Property Documentation Form has been submitted with the expectation that Maryland’s Ridgeley Rosenwald School will be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Preservation Maryland has previously supported projects at this site, as well as the Galesville Rosenwald School in Anne Arundel County and Wicomico County’s San Domingo Rosenwald School. All three sites have been successfully restored and are in active use by the communities in which they are located. The Rosenwald School Initiative seeks to increase the number of schools across the state that will fall into this category. The goal is to raise public awareness about the schools and put as many as possible back into everyday use. Preservation Maryland intends to serve as a statewide online clearinghouse for information regarding the schools. We expect to partner with local and national preservation organizations to provide general information and training opportunities on preservation practices, organizational development and financial assistance to restore and adaptively re-use those schools that are currently vacant. We’ll also share success stories of those who have labored to save a treasured school.
In the coming months our website will be updated with useful links to pertinent sites related to Rosenwald Schools around the country and in our state. There will also be opportunities for interested parties to share information about the schools. I’ll keep you updated.
Marilyn Benaderet/Preservation Services Director
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February is Black History Month. This annual commemoration of African American achievements was started in 1926 as “Negro History Week” by Dr. Carter Woodson. He chose February as the month of celebration as it was the birth month of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Since February has been set aside to honor the accomplishments of African Americans, I’d like to suggest a few related sites around Maryland you may consider visiting.
The Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park in downtown Baltimore is an educational and national heritage site that highlights African American maritime history and the establishment of the African American Community in Baltimore during the 1800’s. The museum chronicles the saga of Frederick Douglass’ life in Baltimore as an enslaved child and young man. You will also examine the life of Isaac Myers, a free born African American who became a national leader. The complex incorporates the oldest industrial warehouse on the waterfront.
The Charles H. Chipman Cultural Center is located in Salisbury Maryland. It is housed in the 1838, John Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest standing African American church on the Delmarva. The building is now a cultural and special events center and small museum honoring the history of African Americans of the Eastern Shore region. Call to schedule an appointment.
In Annapolis, there are two memorials commemorating African Americans. The Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial at the Annapolis City Dock features a life-size bronze statue of Alex Haley, author of Roots, located next to a plaque honoring his ancestor Kunta Kinte, an enslaved African brought to Annapolis in 1767. The statue was designed by nationally acclaimed African-American sculptor Ed Dwight. The Thurgood Marshall Memorial on Lawyer’s Mall at the Maryland State House honors Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. His most famous case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka 1954, ended racial segregation in American public schools.In Southern Maryland, the restored slave cabin at Sotterley Plantation in Hollywood is one of few extant dwellings of enslaved African Americans in the state. Built between 1830 and 1850 it is the only surviving slave cabin at Sotterley, the sole Tidewater Plantation in Maryland that is open to the public.
The Warren Historic Site in Poolesville interprets an African American community hub with all the essential structures traditional to such communities established around the United States at the end of the Civil War. The one room school (1886), the Warren UM Church (rebuilt 1903) and the Love and Charity Lodge Hall (1914) are located in Montgomery County.
Most Maryland counties have guidebooks of African American sites in their areas. Check the websites of Visitor Centers and historical societies also. Enjoy your journey into the rich history of African Americans in Maryland.
Marilyn Benaderet/Preservation Services Director
The deadline to apply for a Heritage Fund grant is approaching fast. The Heritage Fund awards up to $5,000 to non-profit organizations and local jurisdictions for capital and non-capital historic preservation projects. The Fund is intended to serve the needs of tangible cultural resources in Maryland that may not be met through other funding programs.
Projects eligible for funding include acquisition and/or stabilization of endangered historic properties; bricks and mortar repairs and restoration; and education, research and planning efforts related to resource preservation. Please see the Heritage Fund Guidelines and Procedures for a full listing of projects eligible for funding.
Our Selection Committee will meet in February to review applications for funding. Projects are evaluated on a competitive basis according to their urgency for financial need; administrative capability of the application and the extent to which the project stimulates or promotes other preservation activities. For a full listing of grant awards criteria click the link listed above for the Heritage Fund Guidelines and Procedures.
Marilyn Benaderet/Preservation Services Director
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Even though summer doesn’t technically begin for another week, schools are getting out, beaches are filling up and the air is filled with the aroma of grilling. When I think of summer, I think of taking time to do something that I love. While I was thinking about what my summer project would be, it occurred to me that my inbox has lately been filled with the professional equivalent of summer projects. There are lots of chances to follow a more specialized preservation passion over the summer. Below are just a few.
Later this week, in Tuskegee, Alabama, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is holding a national conference on Rosenwald Schools. The conference page is full of great resources, so even if you are not able to head down to Alabama, you can dig more into these remarkable historic resources. The resources include a searchable database of schools from Fisk University.
More in the mood for organizational development? Maryland Nonprofits have regular trainings on a variety of development, membership, and general organizational topics throughout the summer. One that caught my eye happens on July 11 and is called the Social Media Bootcamp. It has social media training for beginners and intermediate levels.
If you’re interests run more towards commissions, this year sees the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions hold their biannual Forum just a few hours away in Norfolk, Virginia. The conference runs July 18 to July 22 and has tours, sessions, roundtables, and networking opportunities. Closer to home the final workshop in the series the Maryland Association of Historic Preservation Commissions has been holding will be June 16 in Easton and will cover Design.
Maybe the National Main Streets conference that happened this past April in Baltimore made you want to participate next year. The 2013 conference will be in historic New Orleans and the call for proposals has gone out. Showcasing the great work done all around Maryland does not have to go away with proximity. If you’re interested in presenting, check out how to submit a session.
Finally, I would be sorely remiss if I didn’t mention the War of 1812 Bicentennial which is seemingly everywhere right now. It’s exciting for those of us who are becoming more familiar with that chapter of history through the celebration, so I can only imagine the excitement level of the War of 1812 experts out there! I mentioned a lot of what is happening in this feature last month, but the central place to find out what is happening in Maryland is the website of the Maryland War of 1812 Commission. The ships start rolling into the Inner Harbor this weekend and will be around until the 19th of June. Hope to see you there!
This past Friday Marilyn and I joined over 85 preservationists, scholars, archivists, historians and activists at the Maryland Historical Trust for a day of wide ranging discussions at Bmore Historic. The event took place at the Maryland Historical Society and provided a great opportunity to talk about the issues facing preservation and public heritage. While most participants came from Baltimore and the surrounding counties, there were several participants outside of that radius. The overall turn out and the diversity of expertise was very exciting to see. It allowed everyone to see things from multiple angles and think of the issues in a new way.
Bmore Historic was an unconference, based on other unconferences that have taken place around the country. Unconferences are based on the notion that the most productive times of a traditional conference are the talks you have between sessions. The unconference allows participants to propose session topics and then vote on which sessions they would like to see as part of the conference. As a member of the planning committee, there was a concern amongst us that this more free-form style of conference could result in chaos, but the event went very smoothly from session selection to wrap-up.
I plucked up the courage to propose an afternoon session on Uniting the Preservation Message with the Broader Community. I was combined with a session in a similar vien from the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Scott Whipple on Why we Preserve. The topic of finding ways to connect with other causes and missions who want what we want as preservationists but approach it from another angle has been on my mind most of this fall, so getting to sit down with a room full of people and talk about it for over an hour was wonderful. The notes are up on the website, if you’d like to read about the discussion.
So what came out of all of this? As with other gatherings nothing was “fixed,” but new avenues of discussion were opened and the event’s website has lots of resources for you to check out whether or not you were there. There is a list of participants with bios and the schedule with notes for almost all the sessions is also available. If you were unable to attend (or event if you were there) taking a few minutes to look over some of the notes from the sessions is well worth it. I hope the website and the ongoing Twitter feed will continue to connect participants and other interested parties in new collaborations.
Beginning now, Preservation Maryland will regularly post insights and observations on preservation matters on our blog. Readers can enjoy reports supplied by our field staff whose duties take them to some very interesting sites in Maryland. You’ll be introduced to people inside our organization and to others outside who are working toward the same goals as Preservation Maryland. Occasionally, you may learn our opinions on proposals or policies that impact preservation efforts and results. The authors will be Preservation Maryland staff.
Together with our recently re-designed web site, and our Twitter and Facebook presence, we think you’ll come to know Preservation Maryland better. Keeping pace with communications is important, even for an organization that can claim being the second oldest statewide historic preservation nonprofit in America. We look forward to hearing from you in the future as we take you inside Preservation Maryland and around Maryland’s amazing collection of historic sites and landscapes. If you’d like to suggest blogging topics, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a comment.
P. S. Not a Preservation Maryland member? Sign up now!
- Join us! National Park Seminary Field Trip and Endangered Maryland Presentation on June 1st! conta.cc/10Fl9NN 5 days ago
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