Cultural Heritage Assets Mapping Project (CHAMP) πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†

In 2024, Marion Voices is proud to be launching our Cultural Heritage Assets Mapping Project (CHAMP): a participatory, community effort to map & share our prizes cultural, arts, & heritage resources, to collectively write the blueprint for future culture-sector investments locally, & across the wider region.

Marion County Cultural Heritage Assets Mapping Project (CHAMP) πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†

Our efforts will begin with the Marion County Cultural Heritage Assets Mapping Project (Marion County CHAMP) in Spring & Summer 2024. Marion County CHAMP will host seven participatory cultural heritage assets mapping sessions in four geographic & three cultural/identity communities across Marion County. These two-hour sessions will combine facilitated presentation with participatory mapping & story-sharing to collectively assemble a shortlist of valued cultural resources in various categories (foodways, historical, built environment, natural, cultural, religious/spiritual, arts), plus community-rooted plans for investment & development of our cultural, arts, & heritage sectors.

Together, we’ll ask questions like:

  • πŸ† What important cultural, arts, & heritage resources did we used to have in our community; & what happened to them? πŸ†
  • πŸ† What cultural heritage assets in our community are currently threatened; & what would protecting them look like? πŸ†
  • πŸ† What cultural heritage resources or amenities do we not have in our community that other communities do have? What barriers exist to their existence here? What might building them require or look like? πŸ†
  • πŸ† What cultural assets define our sense of place & help make our community & local landscape distinct from other communities? πŸ†

Marion Voices‘ Cultural Heritage Assets Mapping sessions are open to anyone of any age; no previous experience or special expertise in culture, arts, or heritage is required. Sessions last for two hours, with an optional third hour that is a focus group for working community artists, as an accompaniment to our Making It: Arts Livelihoods & Arts Economies in Marion County countywide artists’ survey. A stipend pool is available for both segments of the session, & will be divided by all participants who attend the full session & participate actively. We value your time & this stipend reflects our enthusiastic acknowledgment that cultural resources planning is valuable labor.

Marion County CHAMP Sessions will be held on weekends in June: mostly in open-air, outdoor park shelterhouse settings for accessibility. To facilitate discussion, concentration, & the camaraderie of a stable CHAMP cohort, plan to stay for the entire CHAMP session. You are welcome to attend one or several CHAMP sessions. Please note that each sessions will focus on the particular geographic or cultural/identity community described.

  • πŸ† Saturday, June 8th, 9AM-12PM: Western Marion County || Oorang Bang — Location TBD πŸ†
  • πŸ† Sunday, June 9th, 3-6PM: Latine/Hispanic Communities || Lincoln Park — Charlie D Shelterhouse πŸ†
  • πŸ† Saturday, June 15th, 9AM-12PM: Marion City & Suburbs || McKinley Park — Y Men’s ShelterhouseπŸ†
  • πŸ† Saturday, June 15th, 1-4PM: LGBTQIA+ Communities || McKinley Park — Erickson Shelterhouse πŸ†
  • πŸ† Sunday, June 16th, 3-6PM: African-American Communities || MLK Park Shelterhouse πŸ†
  • πŸ† Saturday, June 22nd, 10AM-1PM: Eastern Marion County || Terradise Nature Center Lower Parking Lot πŸ†
  • πŸ† Sunday, June 23rd, 3-6PM: Southern Marion County || Prospect Community Park — Good Shelterhouse πŸ†

Note: If dates/times/locations change, they will be updated here! If you are interested in the CHAMP process, please bookmark this page!

Project funding supports the hiring of a community liaison (or multiple) in each of the above-listed geographic and/or cultural communities to help facilitate CHAMP session planning & community outreach to distinct segments of the Marion County community. Through this model, we have planned proactively for CHAMP to extend its audiences beyond existing Marion Voices audiences & participants to foster new collaborators & perspectives.

Marion Voices will produce a graphic-designed, illustrated “zine”-style report from each CHAMP session; & then will aggregate those reports into a larger Marion County Cultural Heritage Assets Plan: which will be presented back to participants, as well as to key stakeholders like municipal leaders, non-profits, & business organizations, along with a shortlist of Recommendations for Marion County Arts, Culture, & Heritage-Sector Investments over the next ten years. Results of the CHAMP process will also be used to inform Marion Voices 2025-2030 Strategic Plan.

North-Central Ohio Cultural Heritage Assets Mapping Project (CHAMP) + Folklife Survey πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†

In late summer // early fall 2024, Marion Voices will transition into a brand-new & very exciting effort: taking our signature community-based cultural organizing regionally, to help grow solidarities, build networks, & expand arts & culture-sector economies across North-Central Ohio. We will launch this work through a North-Central Ohio Cultural Heritage Assets Mapping Project & accompanying North-Central Ohio Folklife Survey.

This work will serve an expanded thirteen-county region of North-Central Ohio spanning from Lima to Mansfield: including Putnam, Allen, Hancock, Logan, Hardin, Wyandot, Crawford, Seneca, Huron, Richland, Ashland, Knox, & Morrow Counties.

We will hold one CHAMP session in each county to bring together key stakeholders, organizations, & individuals involved in the arts, culture, & heritage sectors. A substantial stipend pool will be available for each session to help off-set participants’ time, lost wages, and/or caregiving responsibilities; like in our Marion County CHAMP work, the stipend pool will be divided evenly amongst all participants who remain for the entire session. We will do substantial outreach & organizing in each county to get the word out about each session.

Our North-Central Ohio CHAMP work will also be accompanied by a thirteen-county North-Central Ohio folklife survey: the first documented folklife survey of any kind to happen in our region.

North-Central Ohio is a vibrant & diverse region; but is one that lacks the coherent, self-developed sense of identity that characterizes other regions of Ohio. Our hope is that, through dedicated folklife documentation & collaborative organizing, the North-Central Ohio CHAMP process can begin to articulate a distinctive, networked identity for our region, while building networked infrastructure for arts, culture, & heritage-sector organizations to collaborate across the region, learn from each others successes, & build a more cohesive regional arts, culture, & heritage model.

The North-Central Ohio CHAMP process will result in a new website or section of Marion Voices‘ website which will host a geo-mapped directory of regional organizations & efforts, plus a mapped directory of cultural heritage resources across the region. It is our hope that North-Central Ohio CHAMP — supported by an A-250 Ohio Commission, & in advance of America’s 250th anniversary in 2026 — will help organize North-Central Ohio communities towards more collaborative heritage-sector futures.

All are welcome — contact us to get involved!

The Marion County Cultural Heritage Assets Mapping Project (CHAMP) + North-Central Ohio Cultural Heritage Assets Mapping Project (CHAMP) have been made possible, in part, through generous support from the Ohio Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, America-250 Ohio Commission, & Ohio Humanities. We are grateful for your support of this pathbreaking effort!