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Interpreting the Arts: A Digital Library of Artists of African Descent for Humanities Teaching in the Performing and Visual Arts

Published onJul 14, 2021
Interpreting the Arts: A Digital Library of Artists of African Descent for Humanities Teaching in the Performing and Visual Arts


Project Lead: Lenora Helm Hammonds, Associate Professor, Department of Music, North Carolina Central University (NCCU)

Two grad assistants helped with the content creation.

Two undergrad students in our School of Business develop the website.

Project Abstract

Professor Helm Hammonds created a project to develop DH tools to be used by performing artists in a research-based online teaching artist certificate program. The tools aided in defining new pedagogical methodologies to equip artists with curated materials for arts residencies, auditorium performances and research materials. In addition to story maps, timelines, databases and mini-documentaries, a new website is under construction comprising the DH tools.

Great Artist Past and Present Introduction

Screen capture of Great Artists landing page newsletter sign-up.

Screen capture of Great Artists landing page hero image.

Screen capture of Great Artists landing page menu options.

Screen capture of Great Artists landing page menu continued.

Screen capture of Great Artists resources page.

Time Needed

When did you begin this project? When did you complete this project?

Time Span: September 1, 2017 - present

Length: 3+ years


What is the outcome of the project?

A website serving multimedia content is in development. The work on this website culminates a project from my fellowship as a John Hope Franklin Digital Huma

nities Fellow in partnership between NCCU and Duke University.


What tools, resources, programs, or equipment did you use for this project?

  • Video, Audio, Internet sources: YouTube; Wikipedia;;

  • Web Applications: Google Sheets, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, pCloud, Google Drive, Squarespace, Invision (Ul Design) Google Data Studio, Dropbox, Wireframe, InVision App, LucidChart (for a data flow diagram), Web GIF maker program (, Cloudfare, Prezi.

  • Coding Languages: CSS, HTML, JavaScript

  • Desktop Software: Garage Band, Photoshop, PhotoScape X, Powerpoint

  • Hardware: iPhone


Please describe any costs incurred for this project, and (if relevant) how you secured funding for these costs.

The John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute-NCCU Partnership provided $5000. Professor Hammonds’ research grant from NCCU was $28,000.


Please give an overview of the workflow or process you followed to execute this project, including time estimates where possible.

Over two academic years, 2017-18 and 2018-2019, I developed funding access to complete video documentaries, video and audio artifacts (and) to pay arts professionals and grad assistants to assist with amassing content.

Challenges & Opportunities

What, if anything, changed between beginning your project and its current/final form?

I have no future funding. Working to access resources.

Is there anything specific you wish you had known when beginning your project that might help other people to know?

How to do it! I had to learn as I went and had a lot of hard work!

Next Steps

Do you have any plans to follow up on this project or work on something similar in the future?

Yes, looking for funding.

Publications & Presentations

Interview with Orrin Evans. May 5, 2018.

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