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Ridgefield Oral History Project

Ridgefield Historical Society Awarded Grant for Ridgefield Oral History Project

A $24,998 implementation grant to the Ridgefield Historical Society, awarded by CT Humanities, will support the Ridgefield Oral History Project. This major two-year $50,000 initiative is a collaboration of the Ridgefield Historical Society, Ridgefield CT Pride, and student volunteers from Ridgefield High School and the High School’s GSA Club to diversify the Ridgefield Historical Society’s oral history collection.

Numbering over 200 interviews with Ridgefield residents, the Historical Society’s oral history collection is expansive, spanning topics ranging from World War Two to the Covid Pandemic.

Under the guidance of nationally renowned LGBTQIA+ historian Susan Ferentinos PhD, students will be taught oral history best practices and they will record interviews with Ridgefield LGBTQIA+ residents. The interviews will be professionally transcribed and cataloged in the Ridgefield Historical Society’s online archive and in the Connecticut Digital Archive.

The goals of this project are to record, preserve, and share Ridgefield LGBTQIA+ stories, which are underrepresented in the Ridgefield Historical Society’s collection; to foster intergenerational conversation; and increase civic pride and awareness.

“We’re thrilled that CT Humanities awarded us this grant to support our innovative oral history project and celebrate our community’s diverse history”, said Stephen Bartkus, Executive Director of the Ridgefield Historical Society. “This project will document the untold stories of LGBTQIA+ residents in Ridgefield, a significant step towards filling a gap in our historical record while encouraging intergenerational connections within our community.”

Sign up to be Interviewed

Ridgefield LGBTQIA+ individuals are being sought to interview. If you formerly or currently live or work in Ridgefield and are interested in being considered for an interview, please submit an application at this link:

Donate to the Project

With this grant, the Ridgefield Historical Society is required to raise a cash match of $6,255 from external donors. To support this important project please make an online donation below, or mail a check to: Ridgefield Historical Society, 4 Sunset Lane, Ridgefield, CT, 06877 and write “Oral History Project” in the memo. Thank you for your support!



Get Involved

We’re seeking Ridgefield High School students to participate in this project. Interested students and their parents should attend the following meetings:

Orientation Meeting for Students

Wed. Sept. 13, 2023 2:15-2:45pm at Ridgefield High School

Register with Mrs. Henderson: [email protected]

Orientation Meeting for Students and their Parents

Thur. Sept. 21, 2023 6-6:30pm at Ridgefield Historical Society

Register with Mr. Bartkus: [email protected]

Project Programs

Wednesday, November 15, 2023 6:30pm

Intemperate Habits: LGBTQ History from a Connecticut Perspective 

A talk by Susan Ferentinos, PhD at the Ridgefield Library

Made possible by a grant from CT Humanities

Watch the recording of the lecture here

Ridgefield Historical Society preserves, interprets, and fosters public knowledge of Ridgefield’s
historical, cultural, and architectural heritage.

Ridgefield CT Pride celebrates Ridgefield’s LGBTQIA+ community, educates, promotes awareness, understanding, and acceptance, fosters a sense of belonging, as well as provides support for both LGBTQIA+ individuals and their friends and family. Learn more by visiting

Connecticut Humanities (CTH) is an independent, non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. CTH connects people to the humanities through grants, partnerships, and collaborative programs. CTH projects, administration, and program development are supported by state and federal matching funds, community foundations, and gifts from private sources. Learn more by visiting