Tracie Pouliot, Chair City Oral History
Tracie Pouliot grew up in Gardner, M.A., where her family and most area residents are linked to the manufacturing of wooden furniture. Their identity as a community and as individuals were shaped through the work they do. Tracie created her project, Chair City Oral History Book Series and Community Arts Center because she feels these stories need to be told to honor those who made items people use everyday, to preserve their history and identity, and to help make connections between the community and the past.
After spending summers working in a local factory, Tracy gained the opportunity to interview 13 people. Her core audience and participants for this project are former furniture workers, workers from related industries, and members of the community. Local government officials, educators and students will also be invited to join in the discussions. Tracie has secured a downtown storefront space to house the Community Art Center, created the first book as a pilot, and promoted the project locally and online.
Over the next 18 months, Tracie will work with volunteers on all aspects of bookmaking and provide workshops. She will also host book release celebrations, book club meetings and panel discussions. This Grant will be used to create a proper storefront sign so that people can easily spot the Center, and to cover the cost of the materials to create the second book in the series.
GRANT AWARD DATE: August 4, 2015