Heritage Awardees to be Honored

Awardees preserve, promote local culture

The Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area will be honoring Alpha Genesis Community Development Corporation, the Dorchester Center for the Arts and the City of Cambridge for their A Day of Resilience event, as well as the Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance, The Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center and Muralist Michael Rosato for their roles in helping to preserve and promote Dorchester County’s local culture and heritage.

The annual Heritage Area Awards Reception, which will take place from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. on Oct. 24 at the Layton’s Chance Vineyard and Winery in Vienna, is open to the public. The evening will include a presentation on the Heritage Area’s achievements over the past year, as well as displays from local non-profit organizations that received mini-grants to develop heritage-related projects or events.

The 2019 winners, who were nominated by members of the community and chosen by the Management Board of the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area, are:

Outstanding Project: Day of Resilience – organized by Alpha Genesis Community Development Corp., the Dorchester Center for the Arts and the City of Cambridge

This prestigious award recognizes an exceptional project, event, or activity conducted/sponsored by an organization, business, individual or local government that highlights Dorchester’s natural or cultural heritage and/or increases public awareness of its history, heritage, and cultural traditions. This includes projects that preserve or promote cultural heritage and enrich community life, including restoration, revitalization or rehabilitation of property, any heritage- related event, stewardship of natural resources, oral histories, exhibits, publications, and/or programs.

In selecting the Day of Resilience for this honor, the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area Board noted that the event provided recognition and reflection on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans to be sold into bondage in North America in 1619. From the beginning of the event at the Dorchester County Courthouse, which had been the site of slave auctions in the 1800s, through the programming throughout the day and into the closing activities during the gathering at Cannery Way, the celebration highlighted the cultural heritage of Dorchester’s African-American community and inspired a new appreciation and understanding of this heritage for the hundreds of attendees.

Individual Achievement – Michael Rosato

This award recognizes a person for his/her contributions to the heritage community by interpreting, preserving, promoting, researching, and/or supporting local history and cultural traditions that result in improved public appreciation of local history and cultural heritage. Individual achievement awardees have demonstrated dedicated involvement in local heritage concerns; leadership in managing a heritage-related event, organization, facility or natural resource; and engagement in restoring, designing or crafting heritage-related works of art, architecture, the humanities or other creative expression or in saving or maintaining an important landmark.

Rosato’s nomination noted that his inspiring Harriet Tubman mural Take My Hand, “promotes the local history of Dorchester and brings awareness to a specific event in the Harriet Tubman timeline. Tubman’s story is depicted in this powerful mural that quickly achieved national recognition. As demonstrated by the thousands who have sought out and visited the mural, it has magnified the appreciation of the Harriet Tubman story and focused a spotlight on a significant element of Dorchester County’s cultural heritage. In affirming this award,  the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area Board noted that Rosato has contributed much to Dorchester County through his murals, and the award recognizes all of his public, outdoor murals that highlight Dorchester history and heritage.

Organizational Excellence in Preservation: Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance

This prestigious award recognizes an organization or local government entity that demonstrates sustained achievement in three areas: 1) contributing to heritage preservation, promotion, interpretation or tourism efforts; 2) sponsoring outstanding heritage interpretation or tourism products including, exhibits, tours, websites and programming; and 3) providing sustained contributions to the community’s heritage, such as actively participating in preservation efforts, promoting resource stewardship or encouraging advocacy.

In making this selection, the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area Board noted that the NHPA continues to push forward with the restoration of the Handsell Historic Site outside Vienna, and while the restoration continues, a number of cultural and heritage events and activities continue to make Handsell a jewel for Dorchester. These include the Chicone Village Day, the Nanticoke River Jamboree, the Saturday open houses during the summer and the NHPA plans for building additional programming opportunities for youth organizations.

Organizational Excellence in Education and Outreach: Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center

This prestigious award recognizes an organization or local government entity that demonstrates sustained achievement in three areas: 1) contributing to heritage preservation, promotion, interpretation or tourism efforts; 2) sponsoring outstanding heritage interpretation or tourism products including, exhibits, tours, websites and programming; and 3) providing sustained contributions to the community’s heritage, such as actively participating in preservation efforts, promoting resource stewardship or encouraging advocacy.

Their nomination noted that the “Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center has been telling the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad since the 1980s and that dedicated local volunteers with a wealth of knowledge have committed themselves to preserving this legacy and sharing it with thousands of annual visitors. As one of Dorchester Center for the Arts’ partners for the recent Harriet Tubman mural project, this group has taken their dedication to the next level with the dramatically increased visitation resulting from the new mural, Take My Hand, beautifully rendered on the exterior wall of the Center by muralist Michael Rosato.”

Awards reception open to the public

The awards reception, which begins at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 at the Layton’s Chance Vineyard and Winery in Vienna is free and open to the public, but please reserve a spot by Oct. 16 on our event invitation site.

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2019-10-01T14:55:02-04:00