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We are happy to introduce you to the first phase of a three-year project —More than a Market: Finding Community in Local Markets of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont. Our partners on this program include AALV, Burlington Edible History Tours, Preservation Burlington, Vermont Folklife Center, and Winooski Historical Society. It explores immigrant experiences through the lens of markets operated by new Americans to serve the area’s cultural communities.
MoreThanaMarket.org uses clips from oral history interviews and photographs to tell stories of nine early markets and the communities they served. These clips transport visitors to a time when local markets were the thread connecting people to their homelands, food traditions, and neighbors. In the coming months, additional contemporary markets will join the Vietnamese-owned market Thai Phat, currently featured in the web app and previously highlighted in a earlier news story.
“The designation of local markets as essential businesses during COVID-19 has reinforced their critical support role in neighborhoods and given new urgency to this project,” says Charlotte Barrett, Community Preservation Manager for Historic New England. “The story of one market owner and milk dealer in Winooski who delivered medicine to his customers during the 1918 flu pandemic brings the story full circle to the enduring importance of these small markets today during a challenging time.”
This project was funded through the NEH CARES Act economic stabilization program. These grants support essential operations at more than three hundred cultural institutions across the country. The NEH was created in 1965 as an independent federal agency. It supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the NEH and its grant programs is available at neh.gov.
This is the third Vermont project in Historic New England’s Everyone’s History series, which partners with communities and organizations to collect and share stories of life in New England from the seventeenth century to today. These partnerships have resulted in exhibitions, films, walking tours, publications, and programs. Other Vermont projects include the films Rooted: Cultivating Community in the Vermont Grange (2018) and Back to School: Lessons from Norwich’s One-Room Schoolhouses (2015).