Have you ever given your hometown much thought? Why did people settle there? Has it existed for centuries or can its age be measured in decades? What keeps the economy going? Three young women in Lanesboro, Minnesota explored these questions in remarkable documentaries about their hometown. Perhaps the most important question they considered—what does the future of Lanesboro hold?
Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport, Mississippi successfully incorporated the Stories from Main Street (SfMS) project into their WINGS performing arts program while also collaborating with elementary and middle school students. Overall, almost 200 participants helped to create the film “The Making of a Mississippi Athlete” based on interviews which they conducted with athletes across an array of sports. Inspired by the exhibition Hometown Teams, they also produced a sports themed performance which premiered in April 2016, featuring a wonderful rendition of "Casey at the Bat." The finished documentary film was shown during the exhibition of Hometown Teams in August 2016.
Last spring, Lawrence County Historical Society in Lawrenceville, Illinois collaborated with teachers and 15 students to explore the area's history of recurring floods in conjunction with the exhibition Water/Ways. The area has a series of levees in Illinois and nearby Indiana. The student researchers investigate how they protect communities thanks to a savvy network of Levee Commissioners and caretakers who patrol them when a levee is in danger of being breached.
Five dedicated young women participated in Stories from Main Street at the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor, Michigan area over the summer. The program has been dubbed Youth Ambassadors and staff at the Museum worked hard to meld SfMS with their collection needs. With a high value already placed on oral histories in their research library, the Museum collaborated with the Ambassadors to preserve the stories of five area locals.
Inspired by the MoMS exhibition Water/Ways, three teens collaborating with staff at the Museum of the Grand Prairie in Mahomet, Illinois created a poignant video called “The Pollution of Our Waterways in Central Illinois.” They already possessed some technical experience podcasting but the Stories from Main Street project allowed them to expand their skills, learning about lighting, recording outside, and perhaps the trickiest lesson, how to research and conduct successful interviews
In an interview with an Alabama student, craftsman John Paul recounts his work experiences in construction work and a variety of other fields.
Thanks to the Alabama Humanities Foundation for permission to post this interview.
"Either as a producer or interviewer, I believe that there are things to take from an interview that one will never be able to get from research. No newspaper article or news reel can compare to hearing the stories of success from the people involved in making that success happen. Meeting people and hearing their stories and their views of sports, from both inside the game as players and outside the game as coaches, is without a doubt, my favorite part of our documentary making."
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The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service is honored to offer the first Claudine K. Brown Internship in Education for the summer of 2018. The deadline to submit an online...
Have you ever given your hometown much thought? Why did people settle there? Has it existed for centuries or can its age be measured in decades? What keeps the economy going? Three...
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