Office of Undergraduate Research

Picturing Milwaukee: Conserving Local Heritage

Picturing Milwaukee is a participatory action-research project that explores history and heritage of local neighborhoods. The specific objective of this project is to 1) encourage community based learning and collaboration, 2) collect local histories of stewardship practices and document places of cultural relevance and 3) use the power of digital humanities to disseminate research data and 4) empower local communities and disseminate local histories by interviewing those whose voices are often not heard in urban and official discourses. Each year a summer field school collects architectural and ethnographic information. We spend the fall semester analyzing and disseminating this information and reporting back to local residents and organizations. During this phase we 1) co-write research papers to disseminate project conclusions, 2) continue architectural and ethnographic data collection, and 3) produce in public exhibits and roundtables. In Spring we continue the research project by identifying new places/people/topics to study during the next field school. Our current project site is Washington Park neighborhood in Milwaukee. Our collaborators include the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance, Historic Milwaukee Inc. Washington Park Partners, Our Next Generation, Quorum Architects, Artists working in Education and Express Yourself Milwaukee.

Tasks and responsibilities:

Collect archival, architectural and ethnographic information. Get trained in oral history, architectural documentation, desktop publishing and multi-media production. Examine, analyze and interpret information collected during the field school and produce websites, exhibits and reports. Assist in writing grants and project reports.