Finding Unity in CommUnity: Implementation of the Hampton Arts Initiative
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Type of Work81 p.
ProgramMA in Cultural Sustainability
RightsItems without attached files are restricted at the request of the author. To view the items in person please contact Goucher College Special Collections & Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 337-6075 to obtain a complete copy.
SubjectsCultural sustainability -- Capstone (Graduate)
Hampton National Historic Site (Md.) -- Public interest lobbying.
Hampton National Historic Site (Md.) -- Educational programs.
As one of America’s best preserved estates, Hampton National Historic Site (HNHS) in Towson, Maryland showcases life in the Mid-Atlantic from before the American Revolution to after World War II. The 18th century Hampton Mansion, its outbuildings, and farm site that includes the Farmhouse (or Overseer’s House), the Slave Quarters, the Dairy, and several barns, all contribute to the stories of American social, cultural, and economic history across three centuries through the lives of seven generations of the Ridgely family, and their large and diverse labor force. Operated by the National Park Service (NPS), HNHS now seeks to serve as a resource for the public, and especially for underserved students in the region. Like many historic sites, HNHS relies on typical museum-going audiences. It has managed with governmental resources and supplemental funding from its friends group - Historic Hampton, Inc. (HHI) - to keep the site well-maintained and accessible. However, even with respectable rates of visitation, there continues to be a large segment of the population that has never visited, or has not visited in many years. In an attempt to gain insight into this, I have identified a target audience of local students and teachers as potential patrons, and developed a representative advisory group. I have met with these advisors on several occasions to explore their personal and professional opinions about Hampton and why they and their associates may or may not utilize the site and its offerings. I have also sought this group’s advice on ways to engage the target audience in the development of current and future programming at HNHS. With funding from the National Park Foundation (NPF), the board of HHI launched the Hampton Arts Initiative (HAI) as a means to attract students, teachers, artists, art patrons, and art enthusiasts to Hampton, to engage them in program development, and to encourage their stewardship of the site. Based on research I conducted at historic sites with similar programming, I believe that the HAI will contribute to Hampton’s ongoing sustainability by getting artists and students onto the grounds and having them assist with a new series of arts-related programming. This, in turn, will initiate dialogue between working artists and the public, which will help to strengthen community partnerships and promote stewardship for HNHS through the arts. Working in conjunction with the NPS at HNHS, HHI’s Board of Directors, and other community partners, HHI was awarded an Impact Grant1 for $8,000 from the NPF to help support the NPS initiative known as A Call to Action2. This program identifies the need to reach underserved audiences. Through the Impact Grant and its newly established feature known as Ticket to Ride (TTR)3, HHI began reaching out to artists, students, patrons and art enthusiasts through a new program which took place on April 20, 2012. This event featured a juried art show and the launching of a local artist’s book of paintings of culturally significant scenes throughout Baltimore County. The HAI will also host artist-led workshops during the summer of 2012, and a student/teacher juried arts showcase on September 15, 2012. In addition, the HAI will make provisions for transportation so that children in underfunded schools in the Baltimore region can visit the site and benefit from its vast cultural resources.