History United (HU) uses local history to encourage investment in the future of the Dan River Region and to build a strong collaborative network of organizations and individuals committed to positive change. The project was born in Danville three years ago, assisted by the Danville Regional Foundation, and over the next three years Virginia Humanities will serve as its institutional home.
This is a proactive partnership and a joint effort to expand and enhance programs and networks that support a richer historical narrative and greater investment in the future of this area. The initiative’s programs are advised by a bi-state advisory council and coordinated by working groups, encouraging regional collaboration and building community trust through a greater understanding of shared history.
With Virginia Humanities as an institutional home, History United works closely with a local Advisory Council and an on-site project director, project coordinator, and project historian in the Danville area to:
- establish a network of cultural organizations in the region
- conduct in-depth research leading to an on-line (“Sites and Stories”) resource on the region’s African American historic sites
- produce a series of community conversations and other programs exploring local history
- develop local history-oriented programs for teachers in the Danville region
- engage younger residents in these efforts
- and work with local organizations to build institutional capacity and a sense of shared purpose.
- At the end of the project, History United anticipates that one or more lead local organizations will have capacity take on this collaborative work in the region.
Virginia Humanities connects people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. By supporting and producing cultural, civic, local, and global programs for broad public audiences, Virginia Humanities creates opportunities for all Virginians to share their stories and learn about the experiences of others, so that we can explore our differences, connect through what we have in common, and honor the humanity we all share. Established in 1974 and headquartered at the University of Virginia, Virginia Humanities is the state humanities’ council, one of fifty-six councils across the nation that the National Endowment for the Humanities created in order to better insert the humanities directly and effectively into public life. To learn more, visit VirginiaHumanities.org.