Five Boro Story Project
Richmond Hill Love Letter is a storytelling, art, and oral history program aiming to strengthen community by highlighting all there is to love about Richmond Hill, Queens! This program was conceived by Five Boro Story Project Creator Bridget Bartolini, a Richmond Hill native who knows firsthand how a lack of community programming leads to disconnected residents, and how the act of sharing personal stories has an incredible power to create meaningful connections between people. Local stories provide a connection to the past and a platform for planning the future, helping neighbors move forward with a shared understanding of the neighborhood. In addition to storytelling, art-making, and writing workshops, Richmond Hill Love Letter includes facilitated discussions that explore neighborhood history and assets, examining positive and negative attributes of the greater Richmond Hill area, and envisioning the changes we hope to see. In 2016, thanks to a grant from Humanities New York, the program partnered with Queens Memory to present free workshops and community events from April-November 2016, with a culminating celebration on December 11, 2016. The greatest benefit of partnering in these events for the Queens Memory team was having an opportunity to reach out to engaged community members in Richmond Hill interested in preserving local culture and history. The team also brought our mobile scanning kit to digitize photographs and other mementos participants brought to events. These items were then added to the Queens Memory Collections in the Archives at Queens Library. Most recently, Five Boro Story Project collaborated with us at the culminating celebration of our NEH grant-funded series, "50 Years of Integration," at the Queens Museum in April 2017.