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.

Veteran participation in Maryland Voices is supported in part by

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  • 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
  • “[In Veterans Book Group,] I considered other perspectives both of other service members and others who did not serve.”

    Veterans Book Group 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
  • “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
  • I’m so glad I did the interview and would do it again. Now I realize just how much history affects people.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • It’s different from other projects because I actually got to interact with someone and get information from something other than a history book.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student 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 met some great people, read books I might never have otherwise, [and] had great discussion.”

    Veterans Book Group 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
  • It was more than just a research project, it was more personal than that.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • It was an interesting thing to do. The process of digging through photos, souvenirs, copies of old orders, and other memorabilia was meaningful after 43 years…I was impressed with all of the students I met.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • Good way to make learning real world. I learned first-hand what it was like in Vietnam, I learned a lot from this and enjoyed the experience.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “It was an interesting thing to do. The process of digging through photos, souvenirs, copies of old orders, and other memorabilia was meaningful after 43 years. I WAS impressed with all of the students I met.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran 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
  • I didn’t know that with history came such unique stories and experience.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
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Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their 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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