Historic Cherry Hill in Albany has announced that the museum has been awarded a competitive grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to support an afterschool teen guide training program, History is Now, for the 2021-2022 school year.
The historic house museum, sometimes known as The Yellow House on the Hill, tells a story of America through the lives and experiences of one Albany household. Built in 1787 for Philip and Maria Van Rensselaer, Cherry Hill was lived in until 1963 by extended family, people who were enslaved, descendants, and servants — who left artifacts, documents, and stories behind. The museum collection includes 70,000 artifacts and manuscripts, all of which were accumulated by the Cherry Hill household over the course of five generations and nearly 200 years.
History Is Now will meet weekly after school from November 2021 through June 2022. Participants will examine the lives of people at Cherry Hill and connect stories from the past to their present day lives and shared experiences.
Participants will also train to give historic house tours, and receive training from professionals in public speaking, dialogic interpretation, and working with diverse audiences. Guest speakers from the community will share their experiences and the skills they use in their careers and everyday lives.
During the 2021-2022 school year, participants will receive volunteer hours for training; the museum will work with schools to accommodate high school volunteer service requirements. Participants who complete the training will be offered positions as paid tour guides at the historic house for July and August 2022.
The program is open to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students (ages 16 through 19) in the City of Albany. No prior experience is necessary, and acceptance is not contingent on academic performance; applicants need only commit to completing the program. Preference will be given to those who live in Albany’s South End, where the museum is located.
Applications can be found on the Historic Cherry Hill website Students should return applications by October 12th, 2021. For more information, email Shawna at email@example.com or call (518) 434-4791.
Photo of Cherry Hill courtesy Wikimedia user Matt H Wade.