Museum of Memory began in 2014 with a project in the neighborhood of Eilers Heights in Pueblo, CO as part of a community-driven study. Residents, with an eye towards a possible historical designation for their neighborhood, invited Dawn DiPrince--the Director of El Pueblo History Museum at the time--to hold collective remembering workshops to explore the community's memories of the neighborhood. This project became the foundation of the Neighborhood Memory Projects program at El Pueblo History Museum, which then became the Museum of Memory initiative.
Header Image: Members of the Eilers Heights community participating in a memory workshop.
El Pueblo History Museum collaborated with Pueblo’s Eilers neighborhood after the Colorado Department of Transportation threatened to eliminate 69 homes to expand the adjacent interstate. Museum staff worked with residents to write and share the personal stories of their neighborhood, adding human value to a community at-risk. The initial hope was that, by sharing the neighborhood’s rich history and stories, decision makers would recognize the inherent value of the neighborhood. However, through the formative writing process and the remembering of their experiences in community, residents of the neighborhood became advocates and activists for the protection of their community. This process empowered the people who live there rekindling the fierce love for their neighborhood. The collective outcry from residents has forced the Department of Transportation to re-think its highway plans. The community remains intact to this day.