Perkins Center for the Arts is the proud recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities  (NEH) Common Heritage Grant and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities  (NJCH) Incubation grant for our Tastefully South Jersey Exhibition and Workshop Series.  Tastefully South Jersey is an exploration into folk art and culture through the lens of food traditions in Burlington, Gloucester, and Camden. The three-county engagement will celebrate diverse food arts through African American, Eastern European, Latin and Caribbean cultures.  The project is conducted by the Folklife Center at Perkins Center for the Arts.

Ukrainian Linen passed down through three generations

Ukrainian Linen passed down through three generations

In every family, there are a few people who end up with the family “stuff.”  But it’s the precious stuff of traditions, legacies and family heirlooms. The $5,000 NJCH award supports research to unearth artifacts and family stories that explore the ways in which foodways are a connecting thread to trace the commonalities and differences among groups in the same community. The$12,000 NEH grant funds three Heritage Preservation Days in the tri-county region in the spring of 2018 and at our special events during the culminating Collingswood, NJ exhibition in July and August.  Community members will be invited to bring  photographs, cooking instruments, recipes, pottery, glassware, news articles, herbal remedies, heritage farming and to share stories associated with their treasures.  Attendees will be gifted a digital copy of their artifacts and stories as family keepsakes.  See article on NEH Website.

Isaiah Beard, Digital Data Curator at Rutgers University will train Perkins Center for the Arts staff on the process of digitization in the month of February.  In celebration of the diversity in South Jersey, Heritage Preservation Days will be held through the collaboration of our  partners, Gloucester County Library, Burlington County Library and the Homestead Youth Association.