One Lewisburg neighborhood gets a chance to speak for itself

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

A neighborhood, in many ways, is the collection of the stories of the people who live there.

One Lewisburg neighborhood will get a chance to tell its story, and maybe ask a question or two about its future.

An informational meeting will be held at the Marshall County Memorial Library on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 5:30 p.m. for residents interested in being part of the discussion.

The Neighborhood Story Project, funded by a Humanities Tennessee grant, will offer the older, more downtown neighborhood off of the square a chance to get involved.

The area covered by the project is most of the city’s Third Ward, running roughly from the square to 5th Avenue and from West Commerce Street to Franklin Avenue.

The program grew out of Amie Thurber’s doctoral dissertation at Vanderbilt University. She saw Nashville neighborhoods rapidly changing with that city’s growth often without input from the community.

“The Story Project is designed to bring people together to ask questions about their own communities,” Thurber said in an interview.

Three Nashville Neighborhoods tested the program before it was rolled out this year to five other Tennessee towns, including Lewisburg, this year.

The goal is to get residents involved in the discussion of where their neighborhood has been, is now, and is heading in the future.

The 12-week project will bring people together, ideally 8 to 12 current or former residents of the area, to consolidate their individual ideas into a shared research goal.

After researching whatever question, the group will produce some sort of end product about what they have learned or questions they have for the future.

The process is deliberately open-ended to allow residents to take their ideas and their discussions wherever they’d like.

“We don’t shape the story,” said MCML Director Jennifer Pearson, “The participants are the ones who will do that.”

For more information or for those unable to attend the first meeting, contact group facilitator Fern Whitesell Greenbank at 931-637-0350.