Griswold Memorial Library receives $7.5K grant for local history podcasts

  • Library Director Chelsea Jordan-Makely with a plaque acknowledging William Apess at Griswold Memorial Library in Colrain. Griswold Memorial Library received $7,500 to launch a program to create podcasts about the local history of marginalized groups. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Griswold Memorial Library Library Director Chelsea Jordan-Makely in Colrain. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Griswold Memorial Library Library Director Chelsea Jordan-Makely in Colrain. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 7/22/2022 4:37:08 PM
Modified: 7/22/2022 4:36:45 PM

COLRAIN — Thanks to a $7,500 grant, the Griswold Memorial Library plans to launch a program to create podcasts about the local history of marginalized groups.

The grant funding comes from the federal Library Services and Technology Act, with grant awards being approved by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners earlier this month.

Griswold Memorial Library was approached by Piti Theatre Co. Artistic Director Jonathan Mirin, who asked to partner with them and the Ohketeau Cultural Center in Ashfield to create a podcasting program. Part of the grant money will be used to buy podcasting equipment that patrons will be able to use even after the history program is completed, and another part will support stipends for consultants from Piti Theatre Co. and the Ohketeau Cultural Center.

Piti Theatre Co. has offered similar programs in the past with Colrain Central School and other organizations.

“We all learn history in school,” Mirin explained, “but by using the arts as a way to engage with history in a more creative way, we are helping people feel much more rooted in West County.”

The podcasting program not only promotes digital literacy by teaching residents about podcasting technology, but also allows residents to engage with local history and creates material that the library can use in the future.

“In my experience of managing local history, I knew stories worth telling of abolitionists and other groups,” Griswold Memorial Library Director Chelsea Jordan-Makely explained, citing Angeline Palmer, William Apess and Arthur A. Smith as residents whose stories may be highlighted by the podcast series. “I am really interested in bringing these stories back to life. I think Colrainers can be proud of local history.”

Jordan-Makely expects the program will likely begin in October. Residents of all ages can come to Griswold Memorial Library to research, draft scripts and produce podcasts about local history.

Contact Bella Levavi at 413-930-4579 or blevavi@recorder.com.


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