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Grant number like: PY-258723-18

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Perkins Center for the Arts (Moorestown, NJ 08057-2725)
Karen Boelter Abdul-Malik (Project Director: June 2017 to March 2021)

Common Heritage
Preservation and Access

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$12,000 (approved)
$12,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 6/30/2019

Tastefully South Jersey

Three digitization days and one culminating exhibit of the materials gathered to showcase the historical and cultural foodways of South Jersey residents, to include the tools, recipes, and cookbooks they use and preserve among their families, along with an interactive storytelling concert. The digitization events would be hosted in three different counties in South Jersey, at the Burlington County Library, the Gloucester County Library, and the Homestead Youth Association in Camden County. Staff of the Folklife Center at the Perkins Center for the Arts, the lead organizer, would partner with other local organizations in the tri-county area—the Haitian Society of Willingboro, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority in Glassboro, the Polish American Society, the Caribbean Festival Organization, and the Boys and Girls Club of Camden—to encourage participation among the region’s diverse communities. A digital data curator from Rutgers University Library and a folklorist and foodways professor from Goucher College would advise the project team in planning and implementing the events and exhibit.

Tastefully South Jersey Family Heritage Preservation Project and public programming explores culture through the lens of food traditions in three southern counties of New Jersey. An event will be held in each county for community members to preserve heritage artifacts such as recipes, foodways tools, photographs, documents, and pottery through digitization. Communities targeted through fieldwork are West African influenced and Southern African-American, Dominican Republican, Haitian, Cuban, Polish, Ukrainian, Turkish, Mexican, Peruvian, and Guatemalan. The project includes audiovisual documentation of stories and contextual information. Participants receive a free digital copy. Permission will be requested to exhibit digitized items at the culminating exhibition, shared on our website and be housed in New Jersey State Libraries Digital Collections. The project explores topics on the importance of foodways in expressing identity, maintaining community cohesion, and performing ritual.