Home Leisure & Sports Community Curation Program of Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture invites you to participate locally this month

Community Curation Program of Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture invites you to participate locally this month

by Cass Teague
Dr. Doretha K Williams, Director, Robert F. Smith Center for the Digitization and Curation of African American History at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The Community Curation Program of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is an innovative, digital-first initiative bridging the generational digital divide. By bringing the Museum’s digitization services to diverse communities across the country and creating a unique online platform, the program supports the preservation and sharing of community history and culture.

The Robert F. Smith Center for the Digitization and Curation of African American History is bringing the Community Curation Program to Nashville for the entire month of October. The Smith Center serves to make accessible historical collections through digitization, public programming, and interaction, and by supporting educational development in the museum and archives fields. Through the Community Curation, Project, Professional Curation Program, Interns and Fellowships opportunities, and the Explore Your Family History Center, the Smith Center serves as a major public history component for the NMAAHC.

Dr. Doretha K. Williams, National Director of Black History and Culture at Trust for Public Land, serves as the Center Director of the Robert F. Smith Center for the Digitization and Curation of African American History at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Doretha is a graduate of Fisk University in Nashville and received her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Kansas.

They will be headquartered at Fisk University’s John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library, working with great community partners, developing engaging programming, and digitizing materials for local institutions, organizations, and community members.

“This collaboration will enhance our mission to empower our community in preserving its heritage,” says DeLisa Minor Harris, Director of Library Services at Fisk University John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library. “The collective memories that embody Nashville are archived in various forms, such as sacred texts, letters, recipes, home videos, and photo albums.”

You are invited to please peruse their schedule and join in the process:

1. Audiovisual Digitization, October 7-28, Franklin Library 3rd floor rooms.

2. Flat Item Digitization, Date: October 17-28, Franklin Library 3rd floor rooms.

3. Genealogy Workshop with Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society; Saturday, October 7, 10 a.m.; John Seigenthaler Center, First Floor Lecture Hall, Vanderbilt University.

Journeys in Genealogy: Discovering African American Family Roots Tickets, Sat, Oct 7, Description: In cooperation with the Nashville Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), we have a workshop for genealogy researchers to learn more about discovering Black family history. Specialists from our Family History Center and AAHGS members will assist attendees in reviewing a variety of research methods, record types, and case studies, designed to enhance basic genealogy and family history research skills.

4. A Seat at the Table, Saturday, October 14, 12:00pm; Appleton Room, Jubilee Hall Registration Required (Capacity 100) : A Seat at the Table: Conservation, and Social Justice

Description: A Seat at the Table is a signature social justice program hosted by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) where participants consider challenging questions about race, identity, and economic justice over a shared meal. During

Community Curation in Nashville, this public program will be hosted at Fisk University’s historic Jubilee Hall. An expert panel will discuss a specific topic of concern, providing food for thought while the audience enjoys a menu inspired by the location and themes raised in the discussion.

After the conversation, diners turn to each other to engage in an interactive activity designed to continue reflection on the evening’s topic. Through this program, participants can make new connections, exchange resources, and develop new perspectives. Most importantly, participants conclude the evening prepared to apply insights gained from having “a seat at the table” to their own lives.

Panelists: Doretha Williams, Lorenzo Washington (Jefferson Street Museum), Elizabeth Johnson (TSU), DeLisa Harris (Fisk)

5. Freedmen’s Bureau Search Portal Training—Tennessee Resources Public Version, October 21 (Public); Park Johnson Hall 122 (Capacity 140)

Description: This workshop, led by museum staff, introduces participants to the Freedmen’s Bureau Search Portal created by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). This comprehensive search platform is designed to help family

historians and genealogists search for their ancestors and for scholars and students to research various topics found in over 1.7 million pages of Freedmen’s Bureau records.

6. Space for New Media Student Meet-Up; Tuesday, October 24, 12:00 pm—2:15 pm; Tennessee State University, Space for New Media

Description: Join NMAAHC staff members Sterling Warren (Digital Content Producer) and Trudy Hutcherson (Oral History Videographer) for a session with local students addressing the confluence of video production and historical preservation

7. Community Curation Program Nashville Reception; Tuesday, October 24, 6:00—10:00 pm. Tennessee State Museum Grand Hall and 2nd Floor Veranda; Registration: By Invitation.

8. Hometown Treasures; Saturday, October 28 and Sunday, October 29; Franklin Library 3rd floor

Description: The National Museum of African American History and Culture will co-host Hometown Treasures to help Nashville-area residents identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance tucked away in the attics, closets, and basements of their homes. Presented in collaboration with Fisk University and the John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library the event will feature professional reviews of family heirlooms, presentations, hands-on activities, and preservation tips.

For more information and to register for these events please go to this website: https://nmaahc.si.edu/events.

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