Preservation and Access: Common Heritage

Period of Performance

1/1/2016 - 3/31/2017

Funding Totals

$12,000.00 (approved)
$12,000.00 (awarded)

Impacting Dearborn: The Arab American Community

FAIN: PY-234356-16

ACCESS (Dearborn, MI 48120-1556)
Elyssa Bisoski (Project Director: June 2015 to April 2017)

A digitization event, open to the general public, to gather personal collections relating to the history of Dearborn, Michigan, and a community oral history event. The project would provide for a one-day scanning event, complemented by information on preserving family documents and photographs, coordinated by experienced museum staff and community volunteers. That event will be followed by a community-focused community storytelling and spoken word event, which will highlight the cultural history and contributions of notable Dearborn residents. The Arab American National Museum (AANM), in conjunction with the Lebanese American Heritage Council and the Dearborn Historical Society, would coordinate and sponsor these events in Dearborn, which has the highest percentage of Arab Americans of any city in the United States.

The goal of this project is to tell an accurate story about the Arab American community’s continued impact on Dearborn, MI. Dearborn has the highest percentage of Arab Americans of any city in the country. The diverse Arab American community has been a part of Dearborn for nearly a century, creating positive impacts on the city’s economy and cultural landscape. Despite many media depictions, non-Arab residents in Dearborn live peacefully side by side with their Arab American neighbors. This project will help Arab Americans feel pride in their community and will demonstrate, to a local and national audience, the invaluable contributions of the diverse and vibrant Arab American community. To accomplish this, we will partner with two community institutions, the Lebanese American Heritage Club and the Dearborn Historical Society, to capture, preserve, and share images and stories about Dearborn from both Arab and non-Arab residents.