My Baryo, My Borough

My Baryo, My Borough was conceived by social practice artist Claro de los Reyes and commissioned by the Laundromat Project. The project aims to celebrate and document the Filipino-American community in Queens. The project includes public arts programs, creative storytelling and oral history collection. The oral histories and documents gathered through this project were donated to the digital archives at Queens Library. Following three months of free community art programming, Claro and Queens Memory project archivist Maggie Schreiner, organized a series of community scanning events in neighborhoods which Claro identified as having significant Filipino communities: Woodside and Forest Hills. In the initial months of the partnership, Queens Memory supported Claro by providing oral history training to the My Baryo volunteers. At the same time, Claro was hosting a series of public arts events, which enabled him to build deeper relationships with community members and recruit interested oral history candidates. When our scanning events rolled around in mid-October of 2015, Claro was able to directly recruit individuals from his project to bring in photographs and participate. Our partnership meant that Maggie could focus on producing interactive local history materials for the events, while Claro focused outreach to the extended My Baryo community. Subsequent materials processing and cataloging was conducted by Jennifer Quiambao, a volunteer for both My Baryo and Queens Memory. Once cataloged, the My Baryo, My Borough Collection joined the Queen's Library's collections on the Digital Public Library of America.