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Berkshire Creative

Posted: 2012-07-18

Berkshire Creative - Essex Heritage Comm Gets Grant

The Essex National Heritage Commission in Salem recently received a grant to fund a project to engage underserved Latino youth, while MASS MoCA in North Adams and SculptureNow in Becket received grants to support the display of art works.

The Essex National Heritage Commission, which develops public-private partnerships to support heritage organizations and sites in 34 communities in northeastern Massachusetts, received a $15,000 grant from the National Park Foundation to fund a project to engage underserved Latino youth to learn about connections between Salem and the Caribbean.

"Essex Heritage is very pleased to work with The House of Seven Gables and Salem Maritime to identify stories and themes that most engage and connect the Latino youth with Salem," said Annie C. Harris, the commission's executive director. "The program will help us to better connect the Salem Latino community to our National Park and to the National Heritage Area."

The grant is the first of its kind to non-park organizations.

The grant will help engage local youth in uncovering the untold stories between their homeland islands in the Caribbean and the historic sites in Salem which have interacted with the islands for centuries.

The commission said the program will directly engage 11-15 middle school students in a summer program based at The Gables with visits to the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Peabody Essex Museum, and the Salem Public Library. A second program will be held next fall, after school at the Collins Middle School in Salem. Students will explore historical themes as well as personal themes of being Latino, cross-cultural relationships and the feeling of belonging in a new country.

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