NEH seal

History Cambridge Awarded NEH Grant to Create Neighborhood Storykeeper Program

History Cambridge Awarded $25,000 NEH Grant to Create Neighborhood Storykeeper Program

History Cambridge, an organization using history to catalyze the connections that make Cambridge more vibrant and cohesive, has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The grant will support the creation of a new program called “Neighborhood Storykeeper.”

Sharing Untold Stories

The Neighborhood Storykeeper program aims to collect and share the stories of everyone in Cambridge, particularly those whose histories have been overlooked.

How it Works

The program will be implemented in three phases. The first phase (2024), funded by the NEH grant, will focus on developing a toolkit. This toolkit will outline the program’s goals and best practices gleaned from similar initiatives across the country. Consultants Rainey Tisdale and Diana Lempel will work with History Cambridge to create the toolkit.

In the second phase (2025), a paid Storykeeper from a specific Cambridge neighborhood will be chosen. The Storykeeper will then research and develop a humanities-based project in collaboration with the community. The final project could be a guided tour, an exhibition, an oral history project, or another idea. The toolkit will provide guidance and examples to inspire the Storykeeper’s work.

The final phase (2025-2026) will involve evaluating and refining the program based on the learnings from the first year.

Building a More Resilient Cambridge

History Cambridge believes a deeper understanding of Cambridge’s past will help the city face future challenges. The Neighborhood Storykeeper program aims to document underrepresented histories and foster empathy and connection between different communities.

Sharing Knowledge Beyond Cambridge

The project will also benefit other organizations. The toolkit will be available to other history organizations nationwide, allowing them to establish similar programs in their communities.

This NEH grant represents a significant step forward for History Cambridge’s mission to make Cambridge’s history inclusive and accessible to everyone.