Training Public Historians Through Art
Posted by: Erin Bernard
Curator, community artist and historian Erin Bernard will explore the lived experience of welfare through a multi-part, mobile exhibition and series of public programs, informed by first-person accounts of the Women, Infants, and Children (W.I.C.) nutritional assistance program. The project is an extension of Bernard’s Philadelphia Public History Truck project, a traveling museum that creates neighborhood history installations in collaboration with community members “to deal with issues of urban crisis,” Bernard says. Utilizing the History Truck’s community curatorial process, Bernard will work with a group of women currently on the W.I.C. program to become trained public historians and conversation leaders as they create an oral history initiative, titled “Grocery Stories.” Visual artist Jebney Lewis will create an immersive W.I.C. office installation inside the truck, accompanied by an interpretive grocery store circular produced by designer and archivist Joshua MacPhee. The project will culminate in an exhibition at The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design, as well as live radio programs on the community internet radio station G-Town Radio, featuring commentary by participating mothers.
The W.I.C. project has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.