The Universal Declaration of Human Rights handwritten on an illustration of orange flowers

What does the U.S. Constitution actually say? On January 20, 2017, artist Morgan O’Hara took a pen and paper to the central branch of the New York Public Library and began to write her own copy of the document in long hand. In what she describes as “a form of protest for introverts”. She was soon joined by others. Since then, there have been some 119 sessions on three different continents and more than 2,000 participants.

Morgan says: “This art practice was created so that people will know their rights, deepen their understanding of laws created to protect these rights, and helps resist negative thinking. To date approximately 2000 people have participated, both nationally and internationally. The goal of this art practice is to encourage people to hold their own Handwriting sessions on a recurring basis; to create a physical and psychological space that explores the practice of concentrated writing as an art form, and a process designed to bring people together in a quiet and calming way, all by focusing on human rights.”

This summer, we will be hosting the first online version of the Handwriting Project, collaborating with several Historic House Trust sites in New York City, as well as a community of artists in Europe. We will meet every Thursday from 12 pm – 2 pm beginning on August 13 and ending on September 17. Commit to spending time with the U. S. Constitution, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or choose another document. Participation is casual and members will have the opportunity to share their documents.

Register here.

The image shows a large map of a colony designed by students drawn in crayon

The Democracy Project Online is a reworked version of our process drama for Middle School students, usually led by OSH Educators as an after school activity. This Summer 2020 edition is designed for families to work together to build their own colony!

Beginning on July 7, we will meet each Tuesday and Thursday from 3 pm – 5 pm, for a total of eight sessions.

Your family will create and grow your own colony. You choose the landscape, natural resources, economy and jobs. You get to design and create your own goods, services and currency. Then meet online to trade and exchange with other “colonies” in the network’s weekly meetings. Along the way, discover how to regulate trade and enforce restrictions, if necessary. Roles shift and change as youngsters become decision makers and families exchange ideas about citizenship, democracy and good governance.

Make sure to gather your paper, index cards, crayons and markers to get started!

Sign up today using Explorable Places.
Please note that each family will need to create an Explorable Places account.
Each session carries a $1 minimum suggested donation.