Local & Legendary Communities

Program Overview

Community Responsibilities

Students playing period Civil War music

Students playing period Civil War music in Belfast.

Each community selected for Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War will participate in, organize, and host a number of activities to engage participants in local, state, and national themes related to the Civil War. Their responsibilities and activities will include:

  • Attending monthly team meetings and work sessions in the local community from August to May.
  • Digitizing 30-50 Civil War related historic items from local collections, cataloging them, and uploading them to Maine Memory Network.
  • Creating on Maine Memory a Civil War-related exhibit (text and images) that draws on historical documents, photographs, and artifacts. This exhibit will be added to the Maine and the Civil War: The Homefront and the Battlefield site.
  • Organizing and hosting a series of “One Book, One Community” reading and discussion programs and extension activities using a book, movie, or other text(s) related to the Civil War. A Maine Humanities Council discussion facilitator will be provided to each community. Review our extensive bibliography of Civil War books, films, and other resources.
  • Hosting a public celebration at the end of your project to unveil the team’s work. This event will also include a performance component that has been customized to reflect the Civil War history of that community community.

Local Teams

Civil War book discussion group

A group of veterans and school-aged children discuss a Civil War book in Presque Isle.

Work in each local community will be planned and coordinated by a local planning team, which includes at least one representative from a local library, historical organization, and educational institution. The planning team may also include students. Each team will designate a team coordinator to serve as its local point person and to help coordinate project activities. The planning team will meet monthly, often with MHC and/or MHS staff in attendance, to coordinate project activities, monitor progress, and discuss opportunities and issues that arise, and to facilitate communication with MHC and MHS. Maine Historical and Maine Humanities staff will help teams organize their work, identify specific project tasks, set priorities, define specific roles and responsibilities for team members and other local participants, and assist in all phases of the project. We anticipate that each team will be organized a little differently, and reflect the particular interests, needs, talents, and temperaments of its community.

There will be many opportunities for additional members of each community to get involved and contribute. The planning team, in fact, should form the nucleus of a larger team of local participants—historical society members, teachers, students, librarians, retirees, service club members, civically–engaged individuals, and other volunteers—who will contribute to the project in a variety of ways according to their time, interest, and ability. Some of these opportunities might include mentoring students, helping with research, sharing information and knowledge, organizing events, handling publicity, leading extension activities, transcribing documents, scanning photographs, writing, editing, or participating in interviews.

Program Support

Materials purchased with Local and Legendary grant

Windham team members, together with MHC’s Janet Lyons and MHS’s Larissa Vigue Picard, show off the materials they purchased with Local & Legendary funding. Photo from the Windham Eagle newspaper.

The community teams will receive extensive support, guidance, and technical training throughout the project from MHC and MHS staff. In addition to a $2,000 grant, community teams will receive:

  • Intensive group trainings for team leaders for which all room and board, and travel expenses, are covered.
  • Attendance by MHC and MHS staff at most monthly team meetings and activities.
  • Extensive technical training from MHS staff in how to digitize historic items for inclusion on Maine Memory Network, and how to research, write, illustrate, and construct a robust online MMN exhibit about the community’s Civil War history.
  • Extensive instruction from MHC staff in how to plan, organize, and carry out the community’s “One Story” activities, including assistance with choosing a text and identifying non-traditional populations to include in the project.
  • An experienced MHC discussion facilitator to lead a series of “One Story” discussions in the community.
  • Assistance in designing and hosting a celebration event at the end of the project.
  • A customized performance production based on some aspect of the Civil War history of the community.
  • Substantial readings, manuals, and other resources to help guide the team through the project year and learn more about the Civil War era. A deadline-driven timeline of project activities will also be provided to the team.

Funded by:

NEH logo

In Partnership With: