The McElroy House is a new and developing organization, but we’ve been involved in similar work in both Arkansas and Kentucky for many years now. Here’s a small sampling.
From 2007-2008 we worked with the youth-based Kentucky Remembers! Project, a partnership with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, Kentucky Folklife Program, the Kentucky Oral History Commission,and the Community Scholars Program. We worked to document some of the lesser known voices and stories of the civil rights movement in towns throughout Kentucky, helping youth prepare to become the voices of justice for the future. The project was truly intergenerational in nature and is today affiliated with the University of Louisville.
Radio Production with Ozarks at Large
For over ten years our director has worked in audio production, creating radio stories and podcasts related to living cultures, oral history, and community action. We will continue this work at the McElroy House, sharing these skills with youth and community members so that they can make their own pieces. Listen to the daily Ozarks at Large program via KUAF, NPR here.
West Kentucky African American Heritage Museum
While in graduate school our director worked with Michael Morrow and the West Kentucky African American Heritage Center in Russellville, Kentucky where many of my ideas for the McElroy House were formed. Part of this work included helping to write a National Register Nomination for the community and produced the documentary, Persistent Story: Celebrating the West Kentucky African American Heritage Research Center. Working with Michael Morrow helped us to envision a more community-based approach to folklife research and community action. You can watch the film at the Boiled Down Juice Vimeo Chanel here.
Rural Heritage Development Initiative
While living in Kentucky our director worked with the Rural Heritage Development Initiative documenting life in central Kentucky. You can see some of that work here. Although we are not interested in replicating, in any form, the historic tourism model, we did get to meet many wonderful people and learn a great deal of life in central Kentucky, all of which inspires our work today.
Kentucky Growers Market: You can see some photo documentation of the last day of Market, 2007, here. Our plans for the McElroy House include a close relationship with regional growers, the market in Russellville, and the Locally Grown Network online.