Save the Harbor/Save the Bay

Youth enliven stories of Boston’s pirates, ghosts, and shipwrecks.

spectacle islandBoston Harbor is an ideal site to share the fantastic folklore of yesteryear and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay made those stories sizzle for inner-city high school students last year with Pirates, Shipwrecks and Ghosts of Boston Harbor.

Their humanities-based curriculum gave their summer youth program staff of 18 inner city high school students the skills to develop stories about the Boston Harbor’s past. The staffers then shared the stories and skills with youth development and community groups in sessions held on the region’s public beaches.

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay learned the value of programming that puts humanities at their core through proposals like Pirates, Shipwrecks and Ghosts of Boston Harbor. This grant enabled them to work with the dynamic storyteller and scholar Norah Dooley, who has extensive experience sharing stories as the pirate Mary Read, and with maritime historian David Coffin. They also drew from a catalog of over 40 books to shape their storytelling by the sea, and the benefits were obvious. Save the Harbor/Save the Bay crafted an orientation program that supplied rich material for many youth and community events, and these reached about 500 kids, most of whom had never been exposed to the delights of Boston Harbor—let alone its haunting history.

Save the Harbor/Save the Bay was awarded a $10,000 Project Grant responding to the Engaging New Audiences initiative for training of the summer program staff to engage new audiences in humanities storytelling about Boston Harbor and its historical denizens. [Project Director: Bruce Berman; Date Awarded: 03/20/2015]

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