New story-gathering campaign to illuminate historic moments in city of Chester

December 19, 2018

WithPECO grant, Pennsylvania Humanities Council will support Chester Made’s work to produce, preserve and publicize local stories

The Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) has received a $40,000 grant from PECO to sponsor a series of multimedia projects entitled ‘Illuminate Chester’ which will bring light to the stories that have defined Chester’s past and that are shaping the city’s future.

Through a campaign and special events, stories will be collected from Chester residents and shared broadly in and outside the community. Some of the most powerful will be professionally produced into short documentary-style videos, or other multimedia projects, and publicized.

“Celebrations of cultural heritage and resilience illuminate the strong sense of pride and possibility that exists in the city,” said Laurie Zierer, PHC’s executive director. “When communities reclaim stories from the past and define what they value, they rebuild their future in their own terms. Chester is a leader in showing the power of stories to make positive change.”


The project will be directed by Chester Made Project Manager Ulysses “Butch” Slaughter, a reconciliation expert, journalist, and filmmaker. The first story is currently in development with Visions Video Pro and will focus on Chester’s connection to William Penn. Penn’s first landing in Pennsylvania was in Chester (then Upland) in October 1682, but today the place best recognized as “Penn’s Landing” is about 15 miles up the Delaware River in Philadelphia.

“This project helps to reveal Chester’s historic treasures and the city’s contribution to the country’s foundation,” said Slaughter.

As the stories are developed they will be made available to the public at local Chester events and online at

“At PECO, we power programs and initiatives that offer an opportunity for the communities we serve to celebrate their rich history,” said Romona Riscoe Benson, PECO’s Director of Corporate Relations. “We are proud to partner with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and Chester Made to provide this important experience showcasing Chester’s cultural heritage while advancing arts and culture within the local community.”

About Chester Made

Chester Made is a humanities-based initiative to recognize and promote arts and culture in Chester and harness their power as a force for community revitalization. The Chester Made Exploration Zone and pop-up maker space at 511 Avenue of the States form a creative, cultural hub in the heart of the historic arts and culture district that gives community members the chance to engage with one another, learn more about the city’s cultural assets and history, rebuild their downtown, and change perceptions about Chester. Partners include the City of Chester, The Artist Warehouse, Widener University, The Public Workshop, and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. Visit Chester Made at

About the Pennsylvania Humanities Council

The Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) puts the humanities in action to create positive change. PHC programs and grants bring Pennsylvanians together to build avenues for civic involvement and community development, and for youth and adult learners to strengthen skills for school, work, and personal improvement. An independent partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, PHC is part of a network of 56 state humanities councils that spans the nation and U.S. jurisdictions. Learn more at

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