Announcing the Jupiter Hammon Project Phase 1 Report!
Public access to the Jupiter Hammon Project Phase 1 executive summary and full report is now available! You can download the documents HERE.
If you follow Preservation Long Island’s work you might have already heard about the Jupiter Hammon Project. In 2019, we started the project as the lead component of a larger initiative to strengthen interpretive and educational programming at Joseph Lloyd Manor by amplifying diverse voices and perspectives in history. Aligned with leading work from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the African American Cultural Heritage Fund, this modern interpretive approach centralizes public engagement, with the intention of creating new programs, exhibitions, and experiences that are more relevant and valuable to contemporary visitors and our community.
In 2020, a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, with additional support from the Rauch Foundation, and the DeLaCour Family Foundation allowed us to host three public roundtables. We invited local residents; members of Long Island’s African American, Black, and Descendant communities; and museum professionals and scholars; to join the conversation. Each program brought the public together with experts who shared historical knowledge about Long Island in the colonial Black Atlantic world, Jupiter Hammon’s writing and its impact, and the contemporary interpretation of enslavement at historic sites. After each roundtable, community members convened together to share their reflections on the program and their thoughts about future programming at Joseph Lloyd Manor.
The August, September, and October roundtables reached over 1,000 people. Telling this story is inspiring more interest in the historic roots of segregation and inequality on Long Island today. Preservation Long Island’s online interactions, public contacts, and website traffic increased during the project across the board, resulting in 13% audience growth for our organization. Discussions in breakout groups and the valued advice of our Community Advisory Council directly shaped the emerging interests and next steps for the project—the strongest being to strengthen K-12 education on the subject; engage with contemporary artists to develop visitor experiences; and to explore how historical events can work to dismantle racism and inequality today. Building a foundation of trust with our community and ongoing programs is central to this project. This first phase of the Jupiter Hammon Project has begun to achieve this goal, but there is still more work to do.
We believe history belongs to everyone, and is a constantly evolving practice. It is thought-provoking, accessible, and created by actions and activities that are both large and small. The Jupiter Hammon Project is helping us enact our mission, and bring a richer, more complex experience to our future visitors. We look forward to more public collaboration as we continue this work. If you’d like to learn more about Phase 1 of the Jupiter Hammon Project, our executive summary and full report are now publicly available. In addition, a public presentation and discussion of next steps was live streamed on February 26, 2021. View a recording of the presentation below.
By Christina Ferwerda, Project Manager
Published February 16, 2021