The City of Kingston is inviting community organizations to participate in its “Your Stories, Our Histories” (YSOH) program by utilizing a new exhibit space at City Hall. This initiative, part of the city’s broader effort to encourage diverse narratives, provides an opportunity for groups to share stories pivotal to Kingston’s evolution.
Launched in 2018, YSOH originated as a public engagement project focusing on the complex legacy of Sir John A. Macdonald. It has since transitioned into a platform that offers complimentary exhibit space for community groups to narrate their unique stories, thereby enhancing Kingston’s cultural tapestry.
Miranda Riley, the Acting Curator for the City’s Heritage Services department, emphasizes the program’s commitment to inclusivity. “Your Stories, Our Histories began with community conversations to understand which stories are underrepresented or less known within Kingston’s cultural heritage,” Riley said. “We’re excited to expand the program to reflect a broader range of community voices and experiences.”
The YSOH exhibits, expected to last from eight months to a year, will commence installation each spring. The City of Kingston, showing its support for cultural expression, will not charge for the exhibition space. Currently, the available space can accommodate written stories and physical items.
Applications for participation are open on an ongoing basis. Prospective exhibitors are required to present a general theme, story, or message with their application, though the final text for the exhibit can be developed later in collaboration with City staff.
Interested parties can find further details and apply through the Get Involved Kingston section of the City’s website. The selection of the first exhibitor is scheduled for early December 2023, with the inaugural exhibit set for spring 2024.
This initiative aligns with Kingston’s Strategic Plan, which aims to stimulate inclusive economic growth by promoting culture, history, education, arts, and recreation.