On Thursday, June 16, the National Public Housing Museum will host its third iteration of theTelling Stories, Telling Belongings program in Rockford, Illinois. The program, inspired by the initial grass roots efforts of public housing residents to found the Museum, will use the power of personal narrative and storytelling to connect with material culture.
In partnership with the Rockford Housing Authority and the Rockford Area Arts Council, the Museum is excited to help change perceptions of public housing as well as offer an opportunity for Rockford residents of all backgrounds to connect and form new relationships.
As a physical museum, the NPHM will work to collate public housing narratives from across the United States. Telling Stories, Telling Belongings, is one such way the institution uses collective memory through public programming to increase the impact of these stories nationally in telling the Museum's story here in Chicago.
In a community "show-and-tell" format, Rockford community members including public housing residents will have the opportunity to tell a story personal to them. Be it a story of growing up in public housing, a first date, or a birthday, the evening program, like the program hosted in Chicago in March, will feature stories through cherished belongings that recall memories worth recounting and reliving.
Inanimate objects hold intrinsic power to open up memories and also force stories to the surface. As the National Public Housing Museum moves closer to groundbreaking in 2017, we anticipate the objects or belongings brought to Telling Stories, Telling Belongings programs as a candidates for objects in our museum collection.
Together the Museum looks forward to Rockford stories and the personal narratives that assign meaning to everyday objects. Through these everyday objects, we can begin to understand the everyday importance of community relationships which help not only to change perceptions of public housing and its residents, but also change perceptions of a community and its diverse background and experiences.
For a program press release, CLICK HERE.