Historic Cherry Hill in Albany‘s South End has announced that the museum has received two competitive federal planning grants for a large, multi-year reinterpretation project.
Entitled We Carry It Within Us: Reinterpretation at Historic Cherry Hill, the project was awarded $48,165 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and a $50,000 Inspire! Grant for Small Museums from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
With these grants, Historic Cherry Hill is now expected to complete plans for a new tour and orientation exhibit which incorporates new research and scholarship on underrepresented narratives at Cherry Hill.
This interpretation project is expected to allow Historic Cherry Hill to better serve its mission to invite diverse audiences to explore American history through the unique lens of one Albany household and, through intimate encounter with the past, encourage them toward new perspectives on their own stories and place in history. The museum’s 2020 Historical African American Experiences at Cherry Hill NEH-funded project has shed light on stories which reflect the complexity of our community history.
The new interpretation will Drawing on this research, it’s hoped the new interpretation will allow visitors to engage with more diverse perspectives and contrast experiences within the household – like those of Harriet Maria Elmendorf “Minnie” Knapp, and of her great-grandmother, Dinah Jackson, whose words were immortalized during the trial of Jesse Strang just weeks after her emancipation from enslavement at Cherry Hill.
Visitors will be invited to reflect upon Cherry Hill stories related to race, privilege, wealth, inequality, agency, and social justice – themes identified in focus groups to be important to the museum’s audiences. The new exhibition and tour experience will invite more visitors to engage with the site and their own histories, while also bringing a larger network of visitors to their location in the South End.
Photo of Minnie Knapp c. 1880 provided.