Sharing Stories: Final Project

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Resource: Allison Stadd

Sharing Stories is a project that I have conceptualized for the Philadelphia History Museum (PHM). After visiting the museum and evaluating their likeability, I felt that that they needed to become more relevant to the community; they needed to provide a real relationship with the Philadelphia community and the community in turn would support and visit the museum.

When thinking about how the museum could connect with their audience, family history was the central concept that I wanted to focus on. For a museum that wants to share the history of Philadelphians, through the interpretation of their amazing and vast collection, I thought this family stories would be the opportune way to bridge the connection. The Museum does have a blog called “Home Town History,” and some people do share fond memories Philadelphia, but I wanted to take it a step further.

My project would include a rotating exhibit that would enable 3-4 families to tell their family stories through photographs and memorabilia. These stories and objects would be diverse and represent all areas of Philadelphia, like South Philly and China Town, just to name a few. The families would also be able to further genealogical research with proposed partnerships with The Historical Society of Pennsylvania and Temple’s Urban Archives. In addition, participants would be able to create a scrapbook or album as a keepsake, and children’s programs would take place at the museum where they would be able to create a family tree.

By letting Philadelphians showcase their histories, objects, and stories in the museum, it creates a sense of importance for the families in the area and will hopefully draw more people to the museum. Reaching out to community organizations and word of mouth would help draw people to the project.

One challenge that occurred when brainstorming this project was the question of, how would this process be regulated? The museum needs to make sure that families have interesting stories to tell and enough memorabilia to represent. The solution to this was to implement an application. The application would ask questions and make sure that there was a variety of stories to express, like immigration or family business stories.  This exhibit would rotate three times a year and hopefully continue for three full years with an evaluation process.

Here is a logic model to help explain the process, goals and outcomes:


I feel that this program has the components to be successful, and hopefully the community will respond. I hope that this program would bring excitement to the museum, it’s members, potential visitors, and applicants. Everyone has a story that they want to share and what better way to do that then by showcasing it to civic population of Philadelphia.

Stadd, Allison. “Uwishunu.com.” The Philadelphia History Museum Debuts Two Brand New Galleries As Phase One Of A Massive Renovation To Be Complete This Summer. N.p., 15 Feb. 2012. Web. 10 May 2013. .