PHILADELPHIA, PA - Last week, I heard that Philadelphia was getting the Philadelphia Public History Truck. I wasn’t sure what a Philadelphia Public History Truck was, or why a Philadelphia Public History Truck was something that Philadelphia needed, so I reached out to its co-founder, 28-year-old South Jersey native and Temple graduate student Erin Bernard, to find out.
So what the heck is the Philadelphia Public History Truck?
It’s a mobile museum going from neighborhood to neighborhood in Philadelphia, and the idea behind it is that instead of having a public history exhibit where academics have constructed it, the exhibit is community curated. So all of the community members are invited to come together and contribute and share their stories and objects to put into an exhibit.
Why haven’t I seen this on the street yet?
Right now, we’re in our first exhibit cycle in East Kensington. I’ve done oral history interviews, and I have objects that community members have given me. We’re doing a storytelling block party and First Friday at the Little Berlin fairgrounds in October, where I’ll be serving apple cider and pie and taking oral histories.
So when you say it’s a history truck, are we talking like a food truck, a semi?
The truck was a post office truck. Then it was a water ice truck. And we acquired it through the East Kensington Neighbors Association. The president of EKNA, Jeff Carpineta, he gave it to us. He’s been incredibly helpful. I love the truck. It says “Touch of Philly” on the front.
Find the entire article by Victor Fiorilla at The Philly Post <here>