My goal as Curator is to teach diverse audiences in unconventional ways much like teachers in the classroom. Every article, lecture, presentation, or tour is formatted to meet the needs of the audience. I have learned that visitors need to be engaged to educate them and merely sharing knowledge may be the best way to save history.
“Chocolate at the Hermitage”
Lecture, American Heritage: Historical Chocolate Program with the Historic Division of MARS, Inc., November 2012
As Curator, I led an initiative to expand the narratives of the site’s enslaved community. This effort included establishing a committee of scholars and community leaders charged with developing new public programs highlighting the contribution of African Americans to the Hermitage property before and after emancipation. As a result, attendance at our Black history month programs has more than doubled, and sponsorships for these events increased by 40% since 2014. In addition to our February programming, I created an African American history walking tour of the property which converts the site’s mansion tour to highlight the stories of the enslaved community. The tour includes in-depth discussions of the grounds and features images as well as artifacts associated with the African Americans living on the site.
“Interpreting Slavery at The Hermitage,”
Black History Month Program, February 2013
“From Slavery to Freedom: Telling the Stories of the Hermitage Enslaved Community”
Annual Conference Keynote Speaker, Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, October 2013