Thea Storz, a teacher at Brighton Elementary School in Island Pond, was selected from a national applicant pool to attend one of 20 summer study opportunities supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Endowment is a federal agency that each summer supports Landmarks of American History and Culture workshops so that teachers can study with experts in humanities disciplines.
Storz participated in a workshop entitled Crafting Freedom. The program was held in Chapel Hill, N.C. and was directed by Laurel Sneed. The 40 teachers selected to participate each week received a stipend of $1200 to help cover their travel, study, and living expenses.
Topics for the 20 Landmarks of American History and Culture workshops offered for teachers this summer range from Emily Dickinson: Person, Poetry and Place; to The American Skyscraper: Transforming Chicago and the Nation; and Partisans and Redcoats: The American Revolution in the Southern Backcountry.
Crafting Freedom allowed participants to explore craft, architectural design, antebellum history and culture and African American history. The workshop focused on "The Freedom Crafters," a group of free black entrepreneurs who were working before the Civil War. Thomas Day and Elizabeth Keckly were two artists that workshop participants learned about.
Workshop participants traveled throughout the triangle area, visiting places where important events transpired and listening to lectures presented by historians and other experts.