Here’s a way you can show up in Char­lotte’s his­tory: ‘Sto­ryMin­ing 250’ project

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Carolina Living - BY MYAH WARD [email protected]­lot­teob­server.com

Want to tell your real-life story about liv­ing in Char­lotte? Whether it hap­pened last week or 50 years ago, the Levine Mu­seum of the New South wants to hear it.

“(We’re look­ing for) peo­ple who can speak au­then­ti­cally about their ex­pe­ri­ence here as long-time res­i­dents, as na­tives, as new­com­ers, as peo­ple who are re­ally rooted here and peo­ple who are look­ing to leave as fast as they can,” said Kathryn Hill, pres­i­dent and CEO of the mu­seum.

That’s what the mu­seum’s up­com­ing ex­hi­bi­tion “#Home CLT” is about: doc­u­ment­ing his­tory as it hap­pens, said Hill, and and div­ing deeper into Char­lotte’s com­mu­ni­ties through the sto­ries of peo­ple who live there.

So the Levine is launch­ing “Sto­ryMin­ing 250,” and hopes to get 250 peo­ple to tell their own sto­ries. Those sto­ries, in oral his­tory form, will go into “#HomeCLT.”

“If the ef­fort isn’t made at the very time things are hap­pen­ing, that re­source doesn’t ex­ist for peo­ple in the fu­ture,” said Dan

Spock, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of the mu­seum.

Yes, the goal is to pre­serve his­tory, Hill said — but it’s also to help peo­ple un­der­stand dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives in the city. “We can’t change Char­lotte if we don’t know Char­lotte,” Hill said.

“This project is re­ally about build­ing a more uni­fied, stronger, more eq­ui­table Char­lotte.”

Hill said they hope to get sto­ries from peo­ple from all over the city – in­clud­ing unique neigh­bor­hoods, all ages, gen­ders and back­grounds. They will gather sto­ries based on sub­mis­sions and sug­ges­tions from com­mu­nity mem­bers on the “Sto- ryMin­ing 250” web­site.

The goal of 250 cor­re­sponds with the city’s 250th birth­day this year, but Spock said they plan to col­lect sto­ries for years and will con­tinue to add them to the ex­hi­bi­tion. A staff team and com­mu­nity part­ners will col­lect and doc­u­ment the sto­ries us­ing audio and video.

“There are just so many sto­ries to be told,” Spock said.

While plans for “Story-Min­ing 250” are still in progress, the mu­seum is fi­nal­iz­ing an agree­ment with a lo­cal archive to prop­erly pre­serve the oral his­to­ries.

Hill said they are de­vel­op­ing a way to use aug- mented re­al­ity to take this project out­side of the mu­seum’s walls. This model will be sim­i­lar to Poké­mon Go, Hill said, where users can walk around Char­lotte and hear sto­ries in the city’s dif­fer­ent neigh­bor­hoods.

“We can cap­ture sto­ries of peo­ple, who then through the app that you have on your de­vice, can talk to you, both within our walls but also out in the places where his­tory ac­tu­ally hap­pened.”

Want to sub­mit your story or nom­i­nate a sto­ry­teller? You can go on­line, to www.mu­se­u­mofthe­new­south.org/ learn/sto­rymin­ing-250, but you can also call the mu­seum at 704-333-1887 ext. 224, or mail your story to the mu­seum at 200 E. 7th St., Char­lotte NC 28202.

Courtesy of Levine Mu­seum of the New South

Tell your story to the Levine Mu­seum of the New South (on­line, by phone or mail) and it could be in the up­com­ing “#HomeCLT.”

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