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Community Driven, Community-Led: The Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center (S02/E03)

Museums in Strange Places

Release Date: 11/14/2018

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One of the many projects I've been working on through my new production company (Better Lemon Creative Audio) is a podcast for the Vagina Museum in London. I'm so passionate about the work this museum is doing, and I think you're going to LOVE this podcast. It's written and produced by me with research and narration by science communicator Alyssa Chafee. Search for "The Vagina Museum" wherever you get your podcasts or use this link: https://pod.link/1488645205

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Museums in Strange Places

I know it's been a long time since a new episode came out, but I have a good excuse! Don't unsubscribe yet, I promise new episodes are on their way. 

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[A pilot for a new show I developed about living in London. I'm really proud of how it turned out, but I just don't have the time to make more episodes, so it's going to live here on the Museum in Strange Places feed.

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Museums in Strange Places

Donald J. Trump has been active in business and media for fifty years, but his scandal-ridden presidency has overshadowed most of his history. Levi Fox's Pop-Up Atlantic City Trump Museum is an attempt to remedy this oversight for one specific chapter of the Trump story: his four Atlantic City casinos and the impact their short tenures and bankruptcies had on the gambling capitol of the East Coast.

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Museums in Strange Places

He’s the master of macabre, the man who created mystery fiction, the face on the socks and beer bottles of everyday Baltimoreans. He’s Edgar Allan Poe, and he belongs to Baltimore. Join me on a visit to the Poe House in Baltimore, the tiny house where his career began, to learn about Baltimore’s devotion to Poe, his tragic life, and the future of his legacy in the city where he died mysteriously.  

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Museums in Strange Places

So much of Maryland was built on the back of enslaved Africans, yet it’s easy to avoid confronting the history of slavery in Maryland’s former plantation country. Historic Sotterley is trying to change that. Today, staff and descendants at Sotterley are committed to sharing the site’s whole history and healing the legacy of trauma left by the violence of slavery with the ultimate goal of making their community and their world a better place. 

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Museums in Strange Places

About half of all museums in the US are in small towns in rural America. Each of these museums holds stories and objects that are worth preserving and sharing, but they don’t always have the funding and infrastructure they need to operate and innovate. That’s where Museum on Main Street comes in. This Smithsonian program brings traveling exhibits to small towns for six weeks at a time. But the exhibit materials are just the catalyst for a much bigger experience.

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What do Baltimore, Russian Jews, the third oldest synagogue in America, Eastern European Catholics, seances, and Harry Houdini have in common? You’ll find out in this episode. Join me for a tour of the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue, a journey back in history to the heyday of the Jewish market on Baltimore’s East Lombard Street, and a celebration of the life of Harry Houdini, the son of a rabbi.

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S02/E07: The Baltimore Museum of Industry is trying to inspire their visitors around the concept of work by telling the stories of historical workers. In this episode, I talk to staffers Beth Maloney and Auni Gelles about how they are pushing the museum beyond more traditional education and interpretation methods. This episode is sponsored by Grove History Consulting. Featured songs are by The Bumper Jacksons.

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The Sandy Spring Museum describes itself as “community-activated.” They want to be a secular gathering places, where people of different backgrounds can come together and build a sense of place and belonging. I visit the museum to speak with Executive Director Allison Weiss about the museum’s radically community-driven programming, the Quaker principles built into the museum’s design, and how they are trying to serve a community of incredible diversity.

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Prince George’s County, Maryland is one of the wealthiest African American communities in the US, a suburban enclave of Black excellence just outside Washington, D.C. But it wasn’t always that way. At the small (but mighty) Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center, the passionate young Executive Director, Maleke Glee, tells me about the history of the area, the museum’s far-reaching youth programs, and his vision for a museum that’s truly community-led, inclusive, and relevant. DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT

This episode is sponsored by The Lyndhurst Group.

The featured song in this episode is “Good Morning (feat. Odd Mojo)” by Alex Vaughn.

Find more information on the museum and photos on my website, hhethmon.com.

If you enjoy Museums in Strange Places, please help me keep it going by leaving a review on iTunes or sharing this episode with a friend. Let me know what you think by sending me a tweet @hannah_rfh.

Interested in starting a podcast at your organization? Check out my new book, Your Museum Needs a Podcast: A Step by Step Guide to Podcast on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits