Community Collections Workshops
The Chicago History Museum is cohosting several community collections workshops with local partners. These free, bilingual workshops share best practices for preserving personal photographs, negatives, documents, textiles, oral histories, and digital materials. They are also a space to discuss how CHM can best help preserve Latine and local histories. An archive of past workshops can be found below.
Does your organization want to host a collections workshop? Please contact CHM curator of civic engagement and social justice Elena Gonzales at Gonzales@chicagohistory.org or CHM director of collections Julie Wroblewski at Wroblewski@chicagohistory.org.
Recuerdos, reliquias y conservación
“Muy enriquecedor! Enaltece a nuestra comunidad. Nos sentimos apreciados, escuchados, tomados en cuenta.” – Carmen, participante del taller
“Very enriching! It elevated our community. We feel appreciated, heard, and taken into account.” – Carmen, workshop participant
This private workshop was presented in collaboration with Telpochcalli Community Education Project, which “mobilizes youth and adults for social justice work by building individual capacity, collective power, and mutual responsibility through culturally relevant and community-directed education, leadership development, and organizing.” We invited participants to consider and discuss how they would like to see Latine heritage represented at the CHM and what role they would play at the Museum in the conservation and presentation of these stories.
Partner Event | Preserving Heirlooms and Histories: Escuelita Bombera de Corazón Collections Workshop
“It was mind-blowing! I was so impressed by everyone’s enthusiasm. It was intimate and moving. A really good reminder that there are so many ways to learn about history. Usually, for me, it’s so writing-based, so having a sonic experience and being in a physical space was a great reminder.” — Natalie, workshop participant
“A welcoming and educational event. A deep dive into emotionally present scholarship.” — John, workshop participant
With a focus on cultural storytelling, this special workshop was presented in partnership with La Escuelita Bombera de Corazón (LEBDC). LEBDC opened the event with a bomba drumming performance, followed by a talk led by LEBDC founder Ivelisse Díaz and drum maker Rubén Gerena on how bomba, one of the oldest forms of music in Puerto Rico, acts as a storytelling vehicle and cultural maintenance practice here in Chicago.
La Escuelita Bombera de Corazón (LEBDC) Speakers
Partner Event | Preserving Heirlooms and Histories: Gage Park Latinx Council Community Archive
“It was an engaged crowd! Amazing to have three generations present and digging into the meat of story-making.” — Jojo Galvan, CHM curatorial assistant
Our second workshop was cohosted with the “unapologetically Queer and Latinx” Gage Park Latinx Council, who “organizes programs, spaces and initiatives holistically, through art, popular education, and direct actions grounded in social justice, mutual aid, and abolition.” The session featured tips on recording oral histories, storing and maintaining digital materials, and caring for family treasures from photographs to manteles and other textiles.
Partner Event | Preserving Heirlooms and Histories: 18th Street Casa de Cultura
“It’s wonderful getting this series off to a strong start. 18th Street Casa de Cultura is a beautiful, flexible space that does many types of fantastic programming. So proud to be a part of it!” — Elena Gonzales, CHM curator of civic engagement and social justice
For our inaugural workshop, we partnered with 18th Street Casa de Cultura, “an organization of artists, musicians, educators, and advocates dedicated to honoring and cultivating the legacy of cultural and artistic expression rooted in generational practices of Chicago’s Mexicano-Latino community by utilizing ancestral cultural conocimiento or knowledge.” The workshop focused on preserving personal collections of photographs, negatives, documents, and more.