Shawnee State University receives Ohio Humanities grant


Staff report



PORTSMOUTH — The Center for Public History at Shawnee State University recently received $20,000 in grant funds from Ohio Humanities to support the development of Scioto Historical 4.0 – a free mobile app and website project documenting the history of Portsmouth and the surrounding Appalachian region.

Originally launched in June of 2013, Scioto Historical is produced by SSU Professor of American History, Dr. Andrew Feight. The project seeks to encourage cultural heritage tourism and transform how American history is studied, taught, and preserved in the digital age.

“The grant from Ohio Humanities is a game-changer for the Center for Public History’s flagship project – the Scioto Historical mobile app and website,” said SSU Professor of American History, Dr. Andrew Feight. “The grant funds content development and promotion of Version 4.0, which will include dozens of new virtual historical markers and six new historical tours. The new tours focus on the history of Pro Football in Portsmouth, the Boneyfiddle District, the Underground Railroad, the Civil Rights Movement, the Portsmouth Earthworks Complex, and the Shawnee State Forest region. The new tours will be released this fall in a series of special launch events, which will be free and open to the public.”

Working in partnership with area scholars, artists, local cultural organizations, and SSU students for over a decade on research, Dr. Feight hopes the project will appeal to tourists and local residents. Version 4.0 will include original artwork by Herb Roe, a native of Scioto County, who is known today for his work with muralist Robert Dafford. SSU has commissioned Roe to create a 3D digital reconstruction of the Portsmouth Earthworks Complex for viewers to experience as it existed some 2,000 years ago.

“The updated mobile app and website is designed to support a more inclusive cultural heritage tourism, encouraging visitors and residents to explore the rich history of southern Ohio,” said Dr. Feight. “American history happened here, and we have much to celebrate and memorialize, ensuring that these stories are passed down to the rising generation.”

Ohio Humanities is a statewide nonprofit, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which shares stories to spark conversation and inspire ideas. The organization’s mission is to host programs and award grants to support storytellers statewide, from museums to documentary filmmakers and mobile app developers.

Scioto Historical can be found online at www.sciotohistorical.org or through a mobile app store by searching “Scioto Historical”. To learn more about the Center for Public History and related degree programs at Shawnee State University, visit www.shawnee.edu.

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Staff report