Grants Awarded for Experimental Interpretive Research

Congratulations to Jebney Lewis, Sandy Lloyd, Philip Seitz, and Randall Mason on their 2011 HPP Awards for Interpretive Inquiry and Investigation from the Heritage Philadelphia Program (HPP) of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Formerly known as the HPP Scholars in the Interpretation of History, this professional development opportunity supports individual practitioners in the investigation of imaginative projects in public history by connecting the present to the past in engaging, imaginative, and meaningful ways; responding to audience/community interests or needs; and
demonstrating a complex understanding and presentation of history.  There are four recipients this year, an unprecedented number:

  • Jebney Lewis for We Make the City.  Lewis will develop and construct a small exhibit with a focus on the intersection of Broad and Market Streets between the years 1900–10. It will examine “how the aspirations of the industrializing city were embodied in the creation of grand expressions of pride and ostentation,” as illustrated through the completion of City Hall in 1901 and the work of Alexander Milne Calder, who designed the sculptures which adorn it; the acquisition and installation of the Wanamaker organ in 1909; and the first official Mummers Parade, held in 1901. Jebney Lewis is an artist and educator interested in finding new ways to connect audiences with history. He has a BA in theater arts from the University of Washington.
  • Sandy Lloyd for The Future of Storytelling.  Lloyd will consider new approaches to storytelling, and how they might be used in creating compelling interpretations of history, particularly at historic sites. Building on years of previous investigation and practice, Lloyd will consider the techniques of several disciplines, including theater and historic site interpreters, as well as traditional and emerging storytellers. Sandy Lloyd is an independent interpretive specialist who works with many historical organizations in and around Philadelphia. She has a BA in American studies from Smith College, and an MA from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture from the University of Delaware.
  • Randall Mason for Interpreting No-Man’s Land.  Mason will investigate ways of interpreting “no-man’s lands,” which he describes as “territories that can be seen, known, imagined, but not visited.” Mason’s research will focus on two such landscapes: the North Philadelphia Rail Corridor and New York City’s North Brother Island. He will work with a team or interpretive and design professionals to identify potential solutions to this interpretive challenge. Randy Mason is chair of the graduate program in historic preservation at the University of Pennsylvania. He has a PhD in urban planning from Columbia University.
  • Phillip Seitz for Investigating How History Matters.  In his project, Seitz will investigate the questions, “Does history matter, and if so, how?” while focusing on the use of stories from African-American history to build emotional strength and resilience in black youth. His research will cross disciplinary boundaries in order to compile learnings from the fields of history, psychology, and education.  Seitz is an independent history professional and the winner of the 2011 Brooking Prize for Creativity from the American Association of Museums. He has a BA in American culture from Vassar College and an AM in American civilization from George Washington University.