RCHS is creating new initiatives and developing projects in partnership with community, cultural and civic organizations to better serve our Capital County.
Help RCHS Save Lives:
The HIV/AIDS Oral History Project
RCHS is collecting oral histories to save lives. We are documenting the appalling gap between identifying HIV/AIDS as a health crisis and the full-scale response required to develop effective treatments, a delay that allowed the deaths of thousands. A total of 35 oral histories are being recorded and the results are being provided to lawmakers across the country to encourage faster responses to current and future medical crisis. The project recently received a matching $10,000 challenge grant from the Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota.
You can help – learn more here!
Selma 70 Exhibit
RCHS and its partners are creating an exhibition and a series of programs that revolve around the experiences of the community members that went to Selma in March, 2015 for the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge this past March.
Opening in Fall 2016, the exhibition and programs will also explore the history of the Civil Rights Movement in Minnesota, and how that history has shaped our lives and communities today.
Lowertown Interpretive Plan
RCHS recently received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to be the lead organizer to conduct a Lowertown Interpretive Plan project. The project will develop a community-based plan to create interpretive, information sites in Lowertown, St. Paul, to share the unique history of the Lowertown Historic District with residents and visitors.
RCHS will work in collaboration with a Technical Advisory Group comprised of over 20 community organizations, including but not limited to: Saint Paul Union Depot, Saint Paul Saints, Capital River Council, and the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. More importantly, the project will include the participation of 90 local residents, businesses, artists, and nonprofits in three focus groups to develop a truly community-inspired and consensus-based interpretive plan for the Lowertown Historic District. In addition, two modified prototypes will be installed in a public Lowertown space for greater community testing over the following year.
Responding to the Greater Lowertown Master Plan developed in 2010, and paying tribute to the decades-long revitalization work by community members, the plan will lay the foundation for future historic interpretation projects. The plan will be published and widely distributed, and will also be available online. During the next ten years, this interpretive plan will guide the implementation of interpretation projects in Lowertown, Saint Paul.
Summer School Program
During the summer of 2015, in partnership with St. Paul City School, RCHS created Investigate MN!, a six-week, museum-based summer school program that helped 27 students reduce their “summer slide” – the regression in learning that occurs over summer break and a leading contributor to the achievement gap in Minnesota.
During the program’s six weeks, the students visited the Gibbs Farm, the Science Museum of Minnesota, The Bell Museum of Natural History, and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Students spent Monday through Thursday at the museums and in their classrooms at the Saint Paul City School experiencing history, art and science. They worked on projects that helped them explore what they had seen and experienced in very personal ways. These projects helped them connect to their community and continue their educational progress throughout the summer.
RCHS and St. Paul City School are already working on Investigate MN! for summer of 2016, with hopes of expanding this successful program.
From Exile to Resettlement:
The Voices of Bhutanese in Minnesota
RCHS is pleased to have completed phase two of an oral history project developed to record the experiences of Bhutanese immigrants who have recently arrived in Minnesota. From Exile to Resettlement: The Voices of Bhutanese in Minnesota has established a permanent, first person record of the resettlement experiences of some of Minnesota’s most recent refugees, the Bhutanese. Many of the Bhutanese have been living in refugee camps in Nepal since the 1990s after fleeing their native country of Bhutan.
For more information on any of initiatives and projects, please contact us.