Chris Huber has come to Public History in a rather roundabout way. She grew up in Morton Grove, IL until she was 13 when her family moved to Wales, WI. In high school she found her way backstage and never looked back. Her first degree is a BFA in Theatre Design and Production from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Chris worked primarily as Props Artisan in theatres and operas from Long Island to Alaska for 6 years. It was this work that brought her to Atlanta where she worked at the Alliance Theatre for the 2008-2009 season. A number of factors including a wish to do more research and explore the stories of the past as well as have a career that has a smaller potential for burns, amputations, and broken bones, lead Chris to return to school at GSU to pursue a BA in History at Georgia State. It was during this time she was first exposed to idea of public history as a discipline. This appealed to her as it gave her a way to continue to engage in dialogue with various audiences about the stories that matter to them as she had done as a theatre artisan.
Chris chose to enter the Heritage Preservation program due to a combination in her interest in the tangible evidence of the past in architectural fabric of cities, and her desire to engage people in a conversation about the intersection of history and the places that they chose to call home. Since starting the Master of Heritage Preservation program Chris has had several wonderful opportunities to engage in the practice of public history. She currently has an assistantship at the Oral History Association office at Georgia State, where she has helped to coordinate the national meeting and update the website. This assistantship has allowed her to see the way in which a major public history organization goes about its day to day work. She had the opportunity to intern at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights from January to July 2014 where she worked in the exhibit department. Her primary responsibility there was securing the rights for various images used in the films at the NCCHR. This work led in to her to current freelance jobs in rights acquisition. She has just finished working on Ivan Allen Jr. Civic Vision: Social Courage which is due to air on GPB January 20th, 2015. She is currently working on rights acquisition for a documentary on former Atlanta Symphony Orchestra conductor Robert Shaw that is due to air in 2016.
Over the course of her studies Chris gained an interest in the ways in which digital history can be democratizing platform in the creation and understanding of history. She is interested in the ways that digital projects can have places for the public and scholars to negotiate the meaning of places and events. She is interested in ways in which multimedia websites and apps can be used to create new communally negotiated concepts of the past in various urban environments. Finally she interested in the digitization of archival material and how that opens up the past to a far greater audience
I plans on looking at the adaptive reuse of various industrial sites on the Beltline. Some site I would like to explore are, The Cotton Mill Lofts, Ponce City Market, the Telephone Lofts, the Goat Farm, King Plow, Krog Market, and Puritan Mills. I want to explore the roles these industrial sites played in Atlanta when they were open, the economic forces that determined their closure, and why and how they were adapted to fulfill new needs.
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