CDS Partners on “Living Archive” Project to Document Impact of COVID-19 on Charlotte Communities

In 2021, the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) will embark on a new collaboration with three Charlotte, North Carolina–based partners to gather, preserve, and share local histories—stories, documents, visual imagery, and memories—about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities in Mecklenburg County. CDS, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Johnson C. Smith University, and the Levine Museum of the New South will map out and implement the three-year “Living Archive” project, made possible with a $250,000 planning grant from The Duke Endowment.

Combining education, the arts, community engagement, leadership development, and the power of co-created, grassroots knowledge, the project will put documentary storytelling tools into the hands of neighborhood residents. Long-term, the stories and materials collected through the project will be open-sourced and shared in ways that promote ongoing collaboration.

Said CDS director Wesley Hogan, “We are working to make sure that no one’s story is lost, misrepresented, or ignored. We’re honored to be working with these dynamic partners in Charlotte as CDS builds capacity for diverse storytelling across North Carolina.”

Read the full press release from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library here, which includes more information about the project and project partners.