'The Art of Oral History and Saving your Family’s Story'


Wednesday, June 26, the Silver City Museum's community conversation series continues when Thomas Grant Richardson, PhD, will discuss "The Art of Oral History and Saving Your Family's Story."  The presentation is free, and will be held in the ABC Room of the Besse-Forward Global Resource Center, from noon to 1:00 pm, on the campus of Western New Mexico University.  Community conversations are a collaboration of the Silver City Museum and WILL, the Western Institute for Lifelong Learning.

Dr. Richardson, who guided Silver City Museum Curator Javier Marrufo as he developed the popular Chihuahua Hill History Project, will lead a discussion on the value, techniques, and challenges of creating an accurate and representative collection of oral histories, and will offer his perspective on how this important, local oral history project was designed and brought to life.

Dr. Richardson received his PhD in folklore and ethnomusicology from Indiana University in 2019, and is the director of the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions in Washington State. In this role, he oversees the center’s cultural traditions survey and heritage arts apprenticeship program, and serves as a resource for folk and traditional arts research, documentation and programming.

He relocated to Washington state from Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he worked for several years as a folklife fieldworker, writer and consultant. His clients included the state folk and traditional arts agencies of Oregon, Utah, New Mexico, Missouri, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. He also has worked with national organizations such as The Association of Cultural Equity, The American Folklore Society, The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and PBS Education.

As a researcher and writer, his interests include African-Americans in old-time music, Indigenous arts and culture, and community-based self-documentation.

For more information, please contact Brittany Bears, community engagement manager, at (575) 597-0230, or by email at To join via Zoom, use this link: