1892 photo of Jenkintown rail junction
by William Henry Jackson
(Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

  The Jenkintown project is a community-based portrait of a small town seen through the lens of music, folklore, and oral history. The project seeks to bring disparate voices together through the medium of sound recording, performance, visual narrative, and discussion. The final product will be a CD of original music based on town folklore and a book consisting of town history from the bottom up – voiced by people who are not traditionally the source of historical information.
  The main artistic element in the project is music informed by oral history and primary source research. Compositions speak to the character of the town and create a loosely knit musical portrait. In order to collect and create a living town history, the Project interviewed townsfolk: the police chief, the vacuum salesman, Masons, the mysterious bagman, and young people who have spent their entire lives within the town. Ranging from banal, to hilarious, to odd, these stories serve as content for creating original music.
  We recently received grants from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council as well as the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance to fund the creation of the materials.
  We will be holding a large public concert on January 13th, at 8PM to celebrate the release of the CD and an accompanying book at Church of Our Savior's Homestead Hall - 807 Homestead Road in Jenkintown.

For more information, please visit:www.benjaminhesse.com/jenkintown.htm.

The Jenkintown Project is fiscally sponsored by the Old York Road Historical Society and funded by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s 5 County Arts Grant.