Invisible Heritage: Identity, Memory and Our Town

by Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism, Inc.
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Invisible Heritage: Identity, Memory and Our Town
Invisible Heritage: Identity, Memory and Our Town
Invisible Heritage: Identity, Memory and Our Town
Invisible Heritage: Identity, Memory and Our Town
Invisible Heritage: Identity, Memory and Our Town
Invisible Heritage: Identity, Memory and Our Town
Invisible Heritage: Identity, Memory and Our Town
Invisible Heritage: Identity, Memory and Our Town
Invisible Heritage: Identity, Memory and Our Town
Invisible Heritage: Identity, Memory and Our Town
Invisible Heritage: Identity, Memory and Our Town

Our project, Invisible Heritage Identity Memory and Our Town continues to be a catalyst for change and growth for the town of Frederiksted and for the community. By convening the community in creative ways, we are building appreciation and support the preservation of our built and natural environment, providing workforce development training and artisanal training, and providing emergent and established artist with opportunities to exhibit their art.

CHANT Building Arts Institute had a successful partnership with The Nature Conservancy, National Trust for Historic Preservation- HOPE Program (Hands on Preservation Experience) with assistance from National Park Service in April 2022.  Five CHANT apprentices received on-site training in traditional masonry from David Gibney, a historic restoration specialist and fine artisan who shared his expertise in historic preservation and restoration. The apprentices, Allem Harry, Alfredo Carmona, Jr., Gilberto Harry, Jamahal Sanes, and Matteo Harry under the tutelage of David, brought a crumbling structure back to life in ten days. The broken concrete lintel on the doorway was removed and replaced with steel angle iron lintel and a temporary  door frame installed. Then fallen and deteriorated stones were replaced and the entire area was repointed. They replaced broken, missing brick in the structural arch, repaired broken stone steps, giving the structure another 100 years of life.   In two weeks, the group completed repairs to an 18th century historic structure and developed expertise in a highly sought after field. According to David Gibney, “These young men are better than many professionals I’ve worked with!”

CHANT Building Arts Institute is pleased to be partnering with The Slave Wrecks Project and the National Park Service to design and build a display case for an exhibit to be installed at the Christiansted National Park. Apprentices will work with a woodworking instructor to execute the design and build of the display case.

We are committed to meeting our goal of providing artisanal training and through workforce development opportunities for residents of Frederiksted and St. Croix.

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BAI workshop participants (Blake Gardner photo)
BAI workshop participants (Blake Gardner photo)

 

CHANT's project, Invisible Heritage Identity Memory and Our Town continues to be a catalyst for change and growth for the town of Frederiksted and the community. By convening the community in creative ways, we are building appreciation and support for the preservation of our built and natural environment; providing workforce development training and artisanal training and; providing emergent and established artists with opportunities to exhibit their art.

The CHANT Building Arts Institute relaunched in-person training and community workshops in February 2022. Artist in residence, Afreekan Southwell led two tracks of training beginning February 1 - March 10, 2022. The Workforce Development Training for young adults between the ages of 18-30 provided instruction and training in the use of wood as a building material and artistic medium. The Woodworking Workshop was open to the public and introduced woodworking, wood turning and three-dimensional wood sculpture. Four young adults participated in the workforce development program and fifteen community members joined the woodworking workshops over the six-week period.

In conjuntion with the Woodworking Workshops, CHANT hosted an art exhibit, “The Functionalities of Art” February 11th – March 10th. The exhibit featured Afreekan Southwell, Victoria Rivera, Jomahal Sanes and “Gyptian”. The opening drew over 100 guests to view the fine art and wood art created for the exhibit. Throughout the month, residents, visitors and student groups visited and experienced the exhibit.

Invisible Heritage Partnerships

In partnership with the Nature Conservancy the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE Crew embarked on a two-week masonry training at the Estate Little Princess St. Croix, USVI beginning April 19th. In partnership with the CHANT’s (Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism) Invisible Heritage pre-apprenticeship program, HOPE Crew focused on training five local youth in masonry techniques specifically repointing and repair methods under the guidance of trades expert David Gibney.  The trainees excelled under the guidance and tutelage of David Gibney.

Artists - Functionalities of Art Exhibit
Artists - Functionalities of Art Exhibit
Woodworking Course Flyer
Woodworking Course Flyer
Gilberto Harry HOPE Crew trainee
Gilberto Harry HOPE Crew trainee
Masonry training
Masonry training

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WORKSHOP  Ras Ilix Heartman & Participants
WORKSHOP Ras Ilix Heartman & Participants

CHANT’s project, Invisible Heritage Identity Memory and our Town focuses on protecting the built heritage of the town of Frederiksted and the Free Gut neighborhood, provide training opportunities for underserved community members, and engaging the community in “development from within”.

Recovering from the pandemic shutdown and the limitations placed on in person instruction, we have forged ahead with planning for the restoration of #38 Hospital Street, collaborating with community-based organizations and expanding outreach. Final architectural drawings for the restoration of #38 Hospital Street in Free Gut Frederiksted were received from Gerville Larsen, AIA of TALLER LARJAS, LLC. 

In August 2021 the program held the first community woodworking workshops of the year in partnership with CMCArts Artist in Residence program. The CHANT wood working workshop was activated – community members participated in workshops led by Artist in Residence Ras Ilix Heartman, Barbadian Sculptor. Ten community members participated in the Intro Workshop and four in the advanced workshop. The program was expanded to a second week so that participants could complete their wood carvings. 

UPDATE ON BUILDING ARTS INSTITUTE - Workforce Development Training

We are excited that the Building Arts Institute training program will relaunch in January 2022 with short, specialized programs including the Intro to Woodworking course for 10 students. 

With your support through GlobalGiving, a sawmill has been purchased to process recovered heritage trees damaged by Hurricane Maria. A short course is being introduced to three (3) veterans of the program and for the Intro to Woodworking instructor on the operations of the sawmill. Training will include safety training, proper use of a saw, storage tips for milled wood, etc.

Final Drawing-#38 Hospital Street, Frederiksted
Final Drawing-#38 Hospital Street, Frederiksted

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Organization Information

Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism, Inc.

Location: Frederiksted, VI Virgin Islands - Virgin Islands
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Project Leader:
Frandelle Gerard
Frederiksted, VI Virgin Islands Virgin Islands
$90,395 raised of $250,000 goal
 
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