DC Community Heritage Project
A project of the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, and the DC Historic Preservation Office
Persistent urban re-development and an increasingly mobile population have proven to be constant threats to community cohesiveness and shared cultural heritage. The DC Community Heritage Project puts the power of community history where it belongs – in the hands of residents.
The DCCHP is a far reaching endeavor that helps residents preserve and propagate the history of their neighborhoods. Currently the program includes an annual symposium, Council produced projects, and community project grants of up to $2000.
The DCCHP began in 2005, when the founders called together thirty area preservationists and historians for the first symposium. The group established three priorities for the project: a resource center, a perservation fund to finance projects, and a directory of peers for use as a living resource. The excitement of these initial planners soon spilled over into the larger community. Since 2007, the Humanities Council and its project partners have offered DCCHP grants to over 40 community historians who have produced a remarkable body of educational resources.
For thirty years, The Humanities Council of Washington, DC has distributed grants to outstanding community history projects, and produced a number of its own programs. In that time, we have developed a strong collection of resources related to local history, heritage and preservation. We are in the process of making those materials more accessible to the public so that they can serve as instructional and inspirational guides for future neighborhood historians. Click here to access our online DC Community Heritage Project collection, part of our DC Digital Museum Catalog. As we continue to digitize our materials, and comb through our old catalog, the online database will continue to grow, so remember to check back regularly.
The ongoing goal of the project is to encourage more formal and comprehensive stewardship of community history resources. Click here to read an article about the vital importance of the DC Community Heritage Project written by Bell Clement, a graduate student in history at George Washington University, on our blog Human Ties.
Our project sponsors and partners include: the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service Office of Historic Preservation, the D.C. Office of Planning and Historic Preservation, the DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DC Historic Preservation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.