Tobi Ajiboye, "Weathering Storms: Documenting Ellicott City Business Survival Stories"

The town of Ellicott City, Maryland attracts many visitors to its Historical District. However, in recent years, Old Ellicott City has suffered through several major floods, forcing businesses to rebuild. The COVID-19 pandemic that followed shortly after has shut the doors of establishments trying to recover and prevented visitors from traveling to the area. While modern media may provide visual representations of the aftermath, I believe those directly affected by the floods and following pandemic can bestdetail the true extent of the damage. My project, Weathering Storms, is an online archive documenting the stories of business owners in historic Ellicott City and honoring their perseverance by conveying how these disasters have changed their businesses. To create entries for the site, I conducted interviews with Ellicott City business owners and posted the transcriptions on unique pages. By putting the words of the owners themselves on display, my project allows readers to see the effects of each disaster from the perspective of people whose lives have been changed by them. In addition, Weathering Storms provides exposure to affected businesses and gives viewers the necessary information in order to visit them and help bring more life to downtown Ellicott City.