The Houston Flood Museum is officially open for business—although you won't be able to visit.
Instead, the online-only venture collects stories, artifacts, and scholarship to memorialize and think through the impacts of Houston's greatest natural threat. Harvey is the initial focus, but the institution hopes to eventually consider flooding in a larger historical context.
“My hope or ambition for this project is that it’s a think tank, but with art,” Founding Director Lacy Johnson told us in July. “With creative work, in the way that art is a form that research can take that we’re thinking through policy and working on people’s imaginations and compassion for one another. In the long run, we’ll expand the scope to the Gulf Coast, forward and backward in time, and perhaps look more broadly and globally.”
HFM has already launched a multi-part "Stories from the Storm" series in collaboration with Houston Public Media. Videos and podcasts record pivotal figures like Harris County Judge Ed Emmett in conversation with Mayor Sylvester Turner about the official response to Harvey. Alley Managing Director Dean Gladden talks about the catastrophic Theater District flooding alongside Houston Grand Opera's Perryn Leech. Other episodes focus on smaller, more intimate stories, like teacher Erica Kang, who took in a student and her entire family after learning their house was uninhabitable.
Now, HFM wants you to submit your Harvey story, whether it be text, video, audio, or something else. A Google form on their website records the details along with the option to add your submission to the Harvey Memories Project, a separate archival effort from Rice University, Houston Public Library, Harris County Public Library, and the University of Houston Libraries. Contributions will add to HFM's inaugural "exhibit," simply titled "Hurricane Harvey."
You can find more information and contribute to history now at houstonfloodmuseum.org.