2022 Public Program Award Winner Announced | Wisconsin Historical Society

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2022 Public Program Award Winner Announced

2022 Public Program Award Winner Announced | Wisconsin Historical Society

The La Crosse County Historical Society has received the 2022 Public Program Award from the Wisconsin Historical Society for their Enduring Families Video Project.

About the Program

The Enduring Families Project (EFP) operates under the fiscal sponsorship of the La Crosse County Historical Society. Since 2018, the group has been sharing the local history of African Americans and other non-white settlers through school-based programs and community historical reenactments. Retired Milwaukee public high school teachers Denise Christy Moss and Rebecca Mormann-Krieger created a history theater program that shares the stories of early African American settlers to La Crosse County and the Cheyenne Valley.

The mission of the Enduring Families project is "to substantially broaden the local historical narrative by the positive portrayal of the contributions, struggles, and perseverance of early non-white settlers providing a venue for the development of understanding and respect between people in our community and a further springboard for community conversations."

In 2021, the Enduring Families Project produced a series of videos of the historic skits they present. The EFP Video Project aimed to make these performances and the history they share available for years to come and accessible to various audiences as in-person program opportunities may be limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The video series is hosted on the La Crosse County Historical Society's website and available to the public.

The idea for the video series was developed in conjunction with the La Crosse Public School District and is funded in part by the district and by the La Crosse Public Education Foundation.

The Enduring Families Project now features over ten professionally produced videos that showcase performances that share early settler stories from La Crosse and the Cheyenne Valley. Sharing these stories via video creates opportunities for the community to come together and bridge gaps in knowledge of the many contributions of African Americans in the Coulee region. Filming took place at historic properties, including the Hixon House and Hamlin Garland Homestead. The video project brings to life the stories and experiences of historically marginalized communities and connects school-aged audiences with local history through innovative and engaging public programming.

About the Award

This award honors outstanding work in a new Wisconsin public history program. The award is presented to a Wisconsin organization that has launched an exceptional history public program during the preceding year.

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