Invisible Ground explores the history of Southeast Ohio communities by telling the stories of its people, places, and events.

About Invisible Ground

Invisible Ground is a multimedia project utilizing audio, augmented reality, visual elements, and place-based storytelling to engage people in the history of their communities. The project was created, and is produced by, Brian Koscho. Starting as a podcast in late 2020, Invisible Ground focused on telling the stories of southeast Ohio communities and its people, places, and events to connect to bigger themes in our region and far beyond. 

In April 2021, Invisible Ground will partner with the Southeast Ohio History Center to create our first Immersive Historic Marker at the former site of The Berry Hotel on Court Street in Athens, Ohio. This hotel was owned by Edward and Martha Jane Berry, who started the business as a young Black couple in the 1880s, growing it to an incredibly successful hotel and foundation for the Black community in Athens and beyond, and a jewel on the city’s main street. The Berrys have important connections to Mount Zion Baptist Church, Albany Enterprise Academy, and foundational moments in early Black history in southeast Ohio.

Visitors will be able to visit a marker across from the hotel’s former location and download the Invisible Ground app to SEE The Berry Hotel in their device’s camera view. A four-minute audio orientation from Ada-Woodson Adams is available, as well as the fourth episode of Invisible Ground which focuses on the Berrys and their incredible story.

Invisible Ground will continue to make podcasts and immersive markers into the future, with another marker and augmented reality experience set for Mount Zion Baptist Church in September 2022. 

The Southeast Ohio History Center works to collect, preserve, and share Southeast Ohio’s unique cultural and natural heritage. This partnership, grounded in a shared love for the rich history of Southeast Ohio, will leverage artistic expression to make history come alive. 

Want to support this project with a donation? More information on that is here, or e-mail me at findinvisibleground@gmail.com

About Brian Koscho

Brian Koscho lives in Athens, Ohio and really likes making things, especially those at the intersection of art, media, and storytelling. He’s been doing that since he was a little kid growing up in Lorain, Ohio. The things that are made tend to focus on history, storytelling, podcasts, and visual design. Brian hosts two podcasts: Invisible Ground which focuses on the rich public history and hidden stories of southeast Ohio, and The Western Reserve, which plays a lot of Ohio music is soon to come back after a long hiatus. Koscho has produced multimedia work in various forms for Inside Appalachia, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, POV, WOUB Public Media, Stuart’s Opera House, the Nelsonville Music Festival, Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, The Ohio Pawpaw Festival, Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society, and the Southeast Ohio History Center. He is currently working on his thesis for an MFA in Communication Media Arts at the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, to be completed in April 2022.

Along with his work in media, Brian is a teacher at the college level at Ohio University and has worked in the Schools of Media Arts and Studies, Visual Communication, and Emerging Communication Technologies. Out in the community, he has taught on the topics of Community Storytelling, Audio Storytelling, Podcasting, and helped to lead workshops on Documentary Film and Storytelling in the Our Ohio program for high school students in Appalachian Ohio. Before returning to get his MFA, Koscho worked from 2007-2019 at Stuart’s Opera House and the Nelsonville Music Festival as their Marketing Director. Since 2004, Brian has also been the co-founder of Aquabear Legion, an Ohio music collective and record label based in Athens and continues to be active as a musician with his band Unmonumental and in various experimental projects.

Invisible Ground explores the history of Southeast Ohio communities by telling the stories of its people, places, and events.

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