Philadelphia History Truck Hits the Streets of North Philadelphia - Generocity Philly

Nov. 6, 2014 12:00 pm

Philadelphia History Truck Hits the Streets of North Philadelphia

Editor’s Note: this story is a follow-up to a story written in September: “With its Pilot Phase Over, The Philadelphia Public History Truck Reaches North Philly.” The Philadelphia Public History Truck, a mobile museum now canvassing the neighborhoods of North Philadelphia, will be hitting the streets this month. Its first event, a Storytelling Block Party on […]

Editor’s Note: this story is a follow-up to a story written in September: “With its Pilot Phase Over, The Philadelphia Public History Truck Reaches North Philly.”

The Philadelphia Public History Truck, a mobile museum now canvassing the neighborhoods of North Philadelphia, will be hitting the streets this month.

Its first event, a Storytelling Block Party on November 8, is planned in partnership with the Philadelphia Urban Creators, a youth-led organization with the goal of making neighborhoods more sustainable.

Following a community-wide march for nonviolence, the truck will be parked at the Urban Creators’ farm, at 11th and Dauphin Streets, collecting oral histories and meeting and listening to residents.

Inside the Truck, residents will do some memory mapping — linking memories to specific geographic locations — about the first place they ever slept, according to Erin Bernard, the public historian and Temple University graduate student who operates the Truck.

The mapping question is an inclusive way to “understand the terrain of the neighborhood,” she said. Because housing instabilities are common for some community members, “we are trying to phrase the question in a way that’s broad enough so that people can answer, no matter what.”

On November 15, the Truck is partnering with the Free Breakfast Program, an artist collective with deep Philadelphia roots.

That Block Party, planned in a once-vacant lot, kicks off at dusk and will feature memory mapping and the projected artwork of Philadelphia-based artists Theodore Harris and Timothy Portlock.

The pieces selected, Bernard said, “speak to the history of Black America, but at different times.” Both events are critical to discerning the focus of the Truck’s spring exhibition.

”We’ll be on the ground, outside, spending time with people and listening to what they have to say,” she said.

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Image via Storytelling Block Party Facebook Event

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