Maryland Voices

Sharing Stories, Building Community

Maryland Humanities brings oral history training to schools and communities with Maryland Voices, an oral history project. Maryland Humanities staff and WYPR’s Aaron Henkin (creator of the award-winning series, Out of the Blocks) lead workshops in schools, libraries, and other community settings.

Workshop leaders introduce groups to oral history techniques and best practices and guide participants in formulating questions and the art of listening. Participants then interview one another. Past workshops have included veterans and high school students. Anticipated future workshops will highlight collecting histories from and by people with disabilities, the formerly incarcerated, immigrants, and others; any group interested will be considered.

Learning how to collect and analyze first-hand experiences helps all participants better understand how history is recorded, why it is valuable, and the concrete ways events impact the lives of individuals. Beyond the historical research skills participants gain through creating original research, oral history builds life skills like empathy, critical reading, self-confidence, intergenerational engagement, and more.

Current Projects

In 2021, Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street and Maryland Voices programs and The Peale collaborated on a story collection project in conjunction with the current statewide tour of the Smithsonian traveling exhibition, Voices and Votes: Democracy in America. The exhibition will tour five Maryland regions, and will feature interviews with newly minted voters (ages 18–24) from those communities. These stories will be shared through the Peale’s “Be Here Stories” app, at a listening station that will become part of the Voices and Votes exhibition, on the Maryland Humanities YouTube channel and elsewhere.

Maryland Voices is supported in part by

Baltimore County Commission on the Arts & Sciences logo
Logo of The Wawa Foundation
  • Thank you once again for the opportunity for me to share with your students a little about my Vietnam experiences. What you are doing is very special and I hope you will be able to continue this fine effort.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • “Being a part of the group provided me with a safe area to revisit my thoughts and feelings on my experience during the war.”

    Veterans Book Group participant
  • “[In Veterans Book Group,] I made connections with other vets.”

    Veterans Book Group participant
  • I enjoyed it very much and I learned quite a lot. I think there is a lot that can be learned from these experiences and I think this could be a positive experience for the veterans also.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “[In Veterans Book Group,] I learned a different way to explain combat experience to one who has never been in the service.”

    Veterans Book Group participant
  • “I feel more connected to history.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “[Veterans Book Group] was better than expected! [I got] a feeling of connection and pride with the other member [and] I’d love to participate again in any future book clubs—I enjoyed the stimulation.”

    Veterans Book Group participant
  • “This oral history experience was amazing. I learned so much and will never forget this. I LOVED IT, I was super skeptical at first. I felt like we had a lack of planning but I think everything went so great.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “Again it was a wonderful experience with your students and a great project for them. To see and talk to real Vietnam vets is important to get real stories. You have a lot of work to do but it is a really worthwhile experience for the students “as well” as us Vietnam vets.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • I thought it was a very good learning experience. We actually got to talk to someone who took place in the Vietnam War.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • I thought the interview was gonna be boring but since it happened I had a lot of fun learning about my veteran’s experiences.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “The enthusiasm, and preparedness of your students was impressive. I have spoken about them at different forums, as the leaders of a new generation of Americans, who will study the past, so, not to repeat the mistakes.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • “It was an amazing experience to meet and talk to a veteran.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • In history class you always read books written by people who didn’t experience it so it was nice to get an actual view on it. It was different because you got actual stories from history that many people don’t learn. I would like to thank you for giving me this experience in my freshman year.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “Talking with students also helps those of us who have said little about our combat experiences because, in a sense, we feel guilty about why others died and not us/me? So, to be able to talk about it helps the veterans. The opportunity you provided to both students and veterans is wonderful and I do hope that our messages are meaningful to students.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
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Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports bold experiences that explore and elevate our shared stories to connect people, enhance lives, and enrich communities.
Maryland Humanities
108 West Centre Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-4565
(410) 685-0095
(410) 685-0795 fax
info@mdhumanities.org
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