Help record, remember local history

Ariel Beaujot, UWL associate professor of History, pictured by “Hear, Here” sign at Riverside Park in La Crosse. A Continuing Education class starting Jan. 24 will add 10 additional stories to the project.

Continuing education class will add 10 oral histories to complete award-winning ‘Hear, Here’ project

La Crosse community members are invited to help complete an award-winning project dedicated to sharing oral histories of local citizens who worked, lived and shopped La Crosse streets.

A UW-La Crosse continuing education class, “Hear, Here: Public History in Theory and Practice,” will be offered Jan. 24-May 2. The class will add 10 stories to finish “Hear, Here,” an audio-documentary project started by UWL Associate Professor Ariel Beaujot and her history classes in 2015. The project is a collection of oral histories for anyone to listen to by dialing a toll free number at orange street signs throughout downtown La Crosse.

The class will run from 5:30-8:15 p.m. Wednesdays, in the board room of Downtown Main Street Inc., 500 Main St., La Crosse. The class will not meet Wednesday, March 14, the week of spring break. Participation is open to the public. More information on the course cost and registration can be found on the Continuing Education website.

Students will learn to research, record and edit oral histories. They will learn how to use the website, social media and phone system for the project. Class goals also include developing a series of walking tours and helping with the completion of K-12 programming for the project.

“Hear, Here” launched with 28 stories and has collected 50 stories so far. This class will finish the project by adding 10 additional stories.

Since the project’s launch more than two years ago, it has attracted about 6,000 calls, including people from nearly all 50 states. The project also received the Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History. The project, unique to La Crosse, is also gaining international attention and acclaim. During her sabbatical in 2018-19, Beaujot will create a new Hear, Here project in Canada and start writing a book about the project. “Hear, Here” is operated and paid for by Beaujot and UWL through 2020 with the help of numerous grants and sponsoring organizations. Learn more at www.hearherelacrosse.org

Interested in signing up?

Register for the Continuing Education class at www.uwlax.edu/conted/hear-here/. Questions about the course can be directed to Annette Valeo, senior outreach specialist, UWL Continuing Education and Extension, 608.785.6528

Keep “Hear, Here” going, growing

A Hear, Here North project is well underway, with 30 oral histories prepared for La Crosse’s north side; however, Ariel Beaujot, UWL associate professor of History, is looking to partner with a community group willing to take over the project after its initial launch. She is also looking to train several community members in how the project works to keep it going in the future as she plans her sabbatical next year in Canada. Anyone interested in discussing this potential with Beaujot can contact her at 608.785.6798 or abeaujot@uwlax.edu