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Organization name: University of Georgia
Keywords: putnam county (ALL of these words -- matching substrings)

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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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PY-253089-17Preservation and Access: Common HeritageUniversity of GeorgiaRemus, Celie, and Me: Preserving and Presenting the History and Life behind the Literature of Putnam County1/1/2017 - 6/30/2018$12,000.00Nicholas Allen   University of GeorgiaAthensGA30602-0001USA2016History, GeneralCommon HeritagePreservation and Access12000011999.370

A day of local history programming centering on Putnam County, Georgia, and its literary figures, Joel Chandler Harris and Alice Walker, with community stories and heritage documenting a shared history. With the goal of engaging the local community to expand understanding of the region's history during the tumultuous end of segregation and the struggle for Civil Rights, the project would build on institutional relationships between the University’s Wilson Center for the Humanities and Arts, the Georgia Virtual History project, the Putnam County Charter School System, and the Georgia Writers Museum. In an earlier pilot, the applicant has worked to identify characters and places in Harris's Uncle Remus tales and to connect them with documentary information found in the Putnam County archives, including Works Project Administration interviews of former slaves. The applicant has also been using Walker's work in the local schools to study segregation and civil rights and has conducted 75 oral histories with community members. The proposed project would use the works of Harris and Walker to widen the "lenses through which the past can more fully and meaningfully come alive." Documents and photographs provided by community members would be digitized and oral histories recorded. Also planned are public readings of works by Harris and Walker, talks by local history scholars, and a preview of a play on the history of the region that is currently in production. Finally, the collected materials would be exhibited at the Georgia Writers Museum and made available through the Georgia Virtual History website.

Putnam County is where both Joel Chandler Harris and Alice Walker were born to learn hard lessons about the world around them, a world they changed in literature. Our project is part of an embedded commitment to involve the larger community in telling its own stories, both as context for, and document of, this crucial American literary landscape. The grant will allow us to plan, promote, stage and share a day of local history programming in spring 2017, with an exhibition and website.  The local history day event will include stations for scanning documents and photographs, recording oral histories, listening to local music and public readings from selected pieces specifically relating to Putnam County by Joel Chandler Harris and Alice Walker, as well as talks by local history scholars, and a preview of one short segment of a local history play being produced in conjunction with this larger project.

ZH-258495-18Challenge Programs: Humanities Access GrantsUniversity of GeorgiaAn American Literary Landscape: Life, History, and Memory in Putnam County, Georgia5/1/2017 - 9/30/2023$100,000.00Nicholas Allen   University of GeorgiaAthensGA30602-0001USA2017History, GeneralHumanities Access GrantsChallenge Programs0100000087523.9

An oral history program for high school students in Putnam County, Georgia, focused on the African American experience.  

One of America’s most complex literary landscapes is virtually unknown to most of its citizens, and even to most residents of the state in which it exists. The birthplace of figures as diverse as Joel Chandler Harris and Alice Walker, Putnam County, Georgia, has a current poverty rate of 17% for those under the age of eighteen, according to the 2010 census. Our proposal is designed to engage Putnam County High School students and their teachers in curating oral histories of their own community. The project is an extension of an established partnership between the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia and the Putnam County Charter School System to include Georgia Humanities and the National Archives and Records Administration. Our goal is to enable students and teachers to collect and share stories of Putnam County residents through segregation and Civil Rights to the present.