History Truck: North Philly @ Tree House Books

1. Describe the project a STAKE Grant would help you accomplish:
Public historian Erin Bernard and Collagist Theodore Harris will lead Tree House Book campers in July 2014 through the design and curation of a history exhibit utilizing oral history interviews of neighborhood community members and collage in the context of the summer reading curriculum. Bernard will specialize in guiding students through the interview process. Harris will specialize in leading the campers with interpreting oral histories using collage. Works created by campers will be included in the full Truck exhibition in June 2015.

2. How will you use the grant toward the realization of your project? $800 is your imaginary budget:
Curriculum Materials: Historically-Based Summer Reading Books - $100
Student Historian Tool: Audio Recorder - $100
Creative Materials: Canvas, paint, cray pas, glue, magazine clippings - $100
Historian Stipend - $250
Artist Stipend - $250

3. A little about yourself and what led you to your current creative goals. This may include a previous project of yours, ways it both succeeded and failed (this can be entirely unrelated to your proposal):
Erin is the founding director of the Philadelphia Public History Truck, a mobile museum capturing and curating neighborhood history in Philadelphia, rounding out its first exhibit cycle in Kensington. She is a curatorial member of Little Berlin and the Publicity, Engagement and Outreach Associate of Painted Bride Art Center.

Theodore Harris was a founding artist of the Mural Arts Program. In 2006, he co-authored the book Our Flesh of Flames with Amiri Baraka and has led collage workshops in prisons and mental health facilities. Recently, he presented his work at McGill University. Theodore's studio is at 9th & Dauphin St.

4. Why is this project important? How will it benefit the community?
The Philadelphia Public History Truck defies issues of museum accessibility in terms of cost, location and process so that people across the city become authorities of history. Oral histories captured by History Truck are deposited into Temple University Libraries Special Collections Resource Center. The Truck‘s community curatorial process aims to set the stage for creative reflection and transformation.

Tree House Books is a nonprofit cultural literacy center at 15th & Susquehanna Ave. This portion of the Truck project would enhance current programming and help children in the neighborhood discover the history of their place, neighbors, and family.