LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – This summer, UW-La Crosse will be working on providing stories for residents and visitors who may be strolling through downtown La Crosse.
The city’s Board of Public Works approved the “hear-here” project on Monday. UW-La Crosse Public Historian and Professor, Dr. Ariel Beaujot, is credited with bringing up the idea for the project.
Beaujot, who is from Toronto, provided the idea for a “mobile phone documentary” in downtown La Crosse after her hometown started the exact similar concept years ago.
Beaujot proposes having up to 30 “hear-here” signs through downtown La Crosse. Each sign would have a phone number and extension for residents and visitors to dial, and they’d be able to listen to an oral history from the specific location.
“The cool thing about this project is that it brings all the different, diverse voices within the city. There are so many different communities and really, their history hasn’t been represented yet and this is going to bring that about,” UW-L Archaeology and Public History Sophomore Ariel Reker said.
Reker started helping Beaujot with the Hear-here project during her freshman year, and she said because of the city’s approval for the five-year project, they can start laying the ground work for the project.
Reker said over the summer, they will research which oral histories they plan to use and coordinate with the city where signs will be located in downtown La Crosse before launching the project on April 15, 2015.
“Community members are going to be able to give those crazy stories, not just to their children or their grandchildren, but to the community. It’s really going to bring this city alive in a way that hasn’t been done yet,” Reker said.
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