New initiative examines the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Germantown in the light of modern-day gun violence
Philadelphia, PA—Cliveden of the National Trust is a recipient of a 2019 discovery grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. The grant supports Cliveden’s new program, Considering Re-enactments: The Battle of Germantown in the Light of 21st-Century Gun Violence. Cliveden is known as the site of the 1777 Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown and the annual Revolutionary Germantown Festival held on the grounds every first weekend in October, featuring two battle re-enactments. In response to the increase in gun violence across the country and in the local community, Cliveden looks to evaluate its interpretation around the American Revolution and the re-enactment as an interpretive tool with the help of the community.
In 2020, Cliveden will hold a series of roundtable discussions and Cliveden Conversations with scholars, community members, and re-enactors to address gun violence from historical and modern points of view. The project will culminate in a large roundtable discussion after project participants attend the 2020 Revolutionary Germantown Festival, with the goal of informing future interpretation and re-enactments of the battle that deeply resonate with the community.
Rosalyn J. McPherson, President of The ROZ Group, and Patricia Scott Hobbes will serve as facilitators for the roundtable discussions. Germantown Espresso Bar, a community oriented coffee shop in Germantown that focuses on creating a safe and positive environment, and Project Learn School, a private Mt. Airy-based cooperative learning school located one block from Cliveden, will host two of the six roundtable discussions throughout next year. An additional three roundtable discussion at Cliveden will be open the community at large and one will focus on members of the re-enactment community.
Cliveden has engaged Noah Lewis, first-person interpreter of Revolutionary War teamster Ned Hector, Jacob D. Charles, Executive Director of the Duke University Law Center for Firearms Law, and Jessica Roney, History Professor at Temple University, to present Cliveden Conversations during the project and offer perspectives on data gathered at the roundtable discussions.
Information about the progression of the project and dates for programs will be available on Cliveden’s website at www.cliveden.org and social media channels through the year.
About The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is a multidisciplinary grantmaker and hub for knowledge-sharing, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, dedicated to fostering a vibrant cultural community in Greater Philadelphia. The Center invests in ambitious, imaginative, and catalytic work that showcases the region’s cultural vitality and enhances public life, and engages in an exchange of ideas concerning artistic and interpretive practice with a broad network of cultural practitioners and leaders.
About Cliveden of the National Trust
A site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a proud member of Historic Germantown, Cliveden opened to the public in 1972. Built in 1763-1767, Cliveden was home to seven generations of the Chew family and the men and women who worked for them, was the site of the Battle of Germantown in October 1777, and is an important example of Philadelphia Georgian architecture. Cliveden focuses on telling the multiple narratives of the property by interpreting the buildings and grounds; giving a voice to the men and women—black, white, free, enslaved, and indentured—who played a role in the Cliveden story.