It is with great pleasure that I announce the Stroudsburg Area Map Room Project!
This is an idea that I have had in the works for about a year and half. It is through the good graces of East Stroudsburg University’s Office of Sponsored Projects and Research that I was able to secure funding for the project through an Interdisciplinary Incentive Grant.
The Stroudsburg Area Map Room Project is inspired by the Office of Creative Research’s St. Louis Map Room Project which was an experiment in collaborative mapping as a source of community engagement. The Stroudsburg Area Map Room Project will engage the ESU community (students, faculty, staff, administrators, and APSCURF retired faculty members) and residents of the area, including thirty diverse organizations, by having selected groups collaborate to create thirty distinct, large-scale maps (10 feet x 10 feet) of the Stroudsburg/East Stroudsburg region and then exhibit them as a traveling exhibition sponsored by ESU.
This process will provide a picture into how different groups interpret their hometown and how their description of the area might be a reflection of their individual and collective interactions within the spaces. Further, it may be possible to uncover whether these experiences are affected by any demographic characteristics (race, generation, ethnicity, gender, income, etc.). These maps will highlight areas of significance and show connection to specific locales; in some instances, routes will be charted, places long since forgotten will be remembered, and areas for future exploration will be revealed. By viewing the maps as a collection, a geography of knowledge will ultimately be produced. Using this geography of knowledge (which directly taps into the psychology of the community), the ESU community will begin to assess how we can better serve the local community and initiate community-based, social innovation/entrepreneurship projects with even more impact in the future. (See Join the Flock). The Stroudsburg Area will be joining the likes of New York’s Lower East Side, Atlanta, and New Orleans as we all undertake similar mapping projects.
I hope to post pics throughout the year as this project progresses.