The PNC Foundation and the Maryland Humanities Council today announced a new and unique effort to creatively honor and preserve the unique history of local communities, events and individuals across the state of Maryland. As part of the PNC Legacy Project, nine area non-profit organizations are the recipients of competitive grants designed to support community-based initiatives. The Maryland Humanities Council is managing this grant program on behalf of the PNC Foundation.
“We are thrilled by the wonderful projects that were submitted,” said Phoebe Stein Davis, Maryland Humanities Council Executive Director. “Funding was awarded to a wide range of projects—from explorations of how football shaped community life in Baltimore, to cemetery-based presentations that celebrate the lives of prominent African Americans—that will take place across the state during 2009.”
An ongoing corporate-wide initiative, The PNC Legacy Project honors the history of predecessor banks, the employees and officers who guided them through the years, and the communities they serve. The project includes permanent and traveling exhibits that feature select artifacts, recordings of oral history presented by employees and customers, financial grants for community-based history projects and a robust website.
“The preservation of history is vital in helping to understand the very essence of a community,” said Louis Cestello, PNC Bank Baltimore Regional President. “These grants and the programs they support will help to bring history, including previously untold stories, to life so that it may be passed on to future generations.”
The PNC Foundation receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. The following are descriptions of the selected projects that met the criteria for being high impact, highly visible, open to the public, and which used the humanities as a primary resource for engaging diverse audiences:
• The Greatest Game’s Lasting Impact at the Sports Legacy Museum uses the 50th anniversary of the Baltimore Colts’ improbable 1958 NFL championship—Baltimore’s first modern sports title—to initiate a public discussion that explores the role of professional sports in fostering a collective urban confidence and shared community heritage that helped reshape life in modern Baltimore.
A series of four programs to be offered January to March 2009.
• Morgan State University will present a living history program at the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Baltimore. Historic figures buried at the cemetery—John H. Murphy, who founded the Afro-American newspapers, Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson, the NAACP leader whose career of nonviolent civil-rights campaigns began in 1931, and Joe Gains the world lightweight champion from 1901 to 1908, the first African American to hold the title—will be brought to life via dramatic presentations.
• In Ellicott City, the B&O Railroad Museum will examine the role of Howard County and the railroad during the Civil War. Key aspects will include soldier and civilian living history presentations, an artifact and document-based exhibit, and speakers who address critical aspects of the community, the conflict, and their relations to railroading.
February 14 through June 2, 2009
• The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College in Chestertown will create an innovative interpretive program along the Chestertown waterfront. A multifaceted, multimedia interpretive experience will challenge participants to rethink their own relationships to the past and their responses to history in the world around them.
The tour launches in July 2009
• Emancipation Comes Home combines research and community outreach to build public and scholarly interest in the distinctive history of the town of Sandy Spring. Quakers here emancipated their slaves in the 1790s, and this project examines the impact of that decision on household life for blacks and whites.
The exhibit opens Fall 2009
• A documentary, Ending a Century of Segregated Schooling: One High School’s Story, will feature oral histories collected between 2003 and 2008, giving voice to those who experienced the desegregation process at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County between 1958 and 1972.
Late June 2009
• The Baltimore Centennial Homes Project, sponsored by Baltimore Heritage, is the first of its kind in the country and recognizes families that have lived in the same house for over 100 years. The project facilitates street-level dialogue on heritage and community by promoting the history of Centennial Homes families and their neighborhoods.
• The Washington County Free Library will create a website with photographs, letters, brochures, historic newspaper articles, and oral history audio-visual clips and hold three public panel discussions to show the influence of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal in Washington County communities. The website content will be digitized and put online making the material available to an international audience of historians and other interested individuals.
• In Calvert County, The Old Wallville School Educational Experience will provide Calvert County Public Schools students with the experience of attending classes at the historicOld Wallville School, an historic “colored school” and researching the history of segregation.
January through July 2009
“These nine unique projects represent the broad geographic and ethnic diversity of our region and will no doubt contribute to the rich heritage of our communities as they stimulate discussion and thought among Marylanders,” said Lydia Woods, Maryland Humanities Council Grant and Community Outreach Coordinator.
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com) is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management; asset management and global fund services.
The Maryland Humanities Council is a statewide, educational, nonprofit organization that is affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. The purpose of the Council is to stimulate and promote informed dialogue and civic engagement on issues critical to Marylanders.