St. Lawrence University

Initiated in 2013 with funds from the Mellon Humanities Grant at St. Lawrence University, Weaving the Streets & People’s History Archive (WSPHA) is an ongoing collaboration between the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery and Weave News, an independent media organization focused on underreported stories.[1] The WSPHA project was originally created:

“…as a two-year, multi-faceted, interdisciplinary, collaborative project that offers St. Lawrence University students, alumni, and others the opportunity to be part of a dynamic, global, investigative blog and a digital archive that document the creative range of ways in which ordinary people make use of public space to express themselves. The goal has been to bring together examples from a wide range of cultures and experiences so that people can build bridges, explore lines of solidarity and difference, and learn from the experiences of others. At a time when cultural materials of all sorts are circulating online with increasing volume and speed, there is a growing need for the skilled curation of such materials so that people can make intelligent use of them in their own contexts. The project seeks to meet these needs in a way that will generate maximum educational value by involving students, alumni, and others at all levels of the process: undergoing initial training, gathering and documenting examples in the streets, contributing to their curation, and helping teach others.”[2]

WSPHA participants contribute to the project in two basic ways: 1) by writing and publishing investigative articles for the Weave News’ project, Weaving the Streets; and 2) by gathering and curating street culture artifacts for the People’s History Archive.

The initial Mellon funding (2013-2015), supplemented by Gallery funds, covered the cost of stipends for four cohorts of students and young alumni contributors. In 2015, WSPHA was awarded additional funds from the Mellon grant to continue the project for two more years. In 2021, additional funding was provided by a grant to SLU's Patti McGill Peterson Center for International and Intercultural Studies.

Student participants have represented majors and minors in African Studies, Anthropology, Art & Art History, Conservation Biology, English, Film & Representation Studies, Global Studies, Government, Hispanic Studies, Native American Studies, Psychology, and Religious Studies. To date, members of the student/alumni cohorts as well as a small number of St. Lawrence faculty have contributed material from countries around the world, including Costa Rica, England, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Poland, Spain, Thailand, and the United States. The wide variety of topics discussed is evidenced by recent article titles such as:

As of May 2021, an eclectic mix of hand-made or printed matter and ephemera related to the streets and street culture has been added to the People’s History Archive. Recent exhibits include:

 

[1] Weave News was first known as The Weave: Mediocracy Unspun

[2] Weaving the Streets & People’s Archive Proposal Abstract, 2013.