Soul of the City 2009
The NEH produced Picturing America Series served as the focus for the 2009 Soul of the City program. Picturing America is an exploration of American history through painting, sculpture, architecture, fine crafts, and photography. Soul of the City participants examined three images from the series, attempting to recognize aspects of their own communities in the works of art.
Peer-facilitator led discussions about the works of art served as a platform for an in-depth exploration of the city. The students used knowledge gained during intensive research and oral history interviews to compare and contrast the Chinatown, Capitol Hill, Anacostia, and Georgetown neighborhoods of Washington, DC.
After a week of learning about oral history and documentary film techniques, exploring DC neighborhoods, and reflection through creative writings, the students produced and edited their own documentary based on the experience. The students who were unable to participate in the on-location filming and editing produced graffiti art that was used in the documentary. In April 2009, the project premiered at the E Street Cinema.
Check out the film on our YouTube Channel.
Soul of the City 2008
In 2008, Soul of the City participants used artwork from the NEH’s acclaimed Picturing America Series to study equality in America today. They also used the works to explore the history of the Great Migration which brought millions of southern African-Americans to urban centers throughout the country during the years between the World Wars.