In February students from Harwood Union High School in Waterbury traveled to Rwanda on the Stories of Hope program, led by English teacher Steve Rand. VFC sent multimedia instructors Andrea Suozzo, Mallory Falk and Aylie Baker on the trip to work with students as they created stories about their Rwandan hosts. This audio piece by Anna, Darby and Tracy explores what forgiveness means in Rwanda in the wake of the 1994 genocide. To learn more about Stories of Hope visit the blog the students kept while in Rwanda or visit the VFC to check out student work from Harwood and other schools around the state!
Blake Harrison of Middlebury, Vermont shares a more contemporary tale of sap beer:
I made sap beer a few years back in the early 1990s with my friend Jon in Dover, Vermont. We really didn’t know what we were doing, but in a time before the internet we did what anyone would have done—we asked a few older neighbors what they knew, and we somehow managed to string together a recipe. The general recollection was that it was consumed as a refreshment while farmers cut the rowan. We were told to find a sugarmaker who would let us clean out the partially boiled leftovers from their evaporator and to mix in the following ingredients: a handful of checkerberry leaves (a wintergreen-like ground cover that emerges from under the snow in early spring); the inner bark of a yellow birch; some handfuls of raisins (which have a natural yeast on their surface that would get the fermentation going). We added our own brewer’s yeast, too. Fermentation was pretty slow and on and off; it was a bit deceiving really, and in hindsight, we should have let it ferment longer than we did. One year we ended up bottling too soon and we lost a number of bottles to explosions. I had one blow up on me in the sun on the front seat of my car while driving down interstate 90 in New York. The end result was a sweet-champagne-y type drink spiced by the checkerberry leaves and bark. It was drinkable, I suppose, but not a huge success either of the two years we did it. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do it again. After moving away from Vermont for roughly 15 years, I am back and ready to give it another try.
Have a sap beer story you’d like to share? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Showcase of Documentary Work by Youth and At-Risk Populations
Our forthcoming exhibition, a showcase of documentary work by youth and at-risk populations, will be on display in the Vision and Voice Documentary Workspace May 11, 2012-June 9.
Showcasing over 100 documentary media works produced in the last nine months by K-12 students and at-risk populations, we will celebrate their accomplishments with an opportunity to view their work and to meet the young people behind the projects.
Completed during classes and after-school programs at schools and non-profit organizations, these projects include documentary films and photography produced by high school students, a hand-made book and audio recordings created by elementary school students, and a variety of responses to Irene through photo/audio stories and documentary film.
Also included will be a series of films produced by adults with disabilities, a mixture of written, photographic and filmic work produced by adults who reside in a homeless shelter, memoirs with photographic illustration produced by young mothers, and documentary projects by high school students who traveled to Rwanda to record stories with Rwandans about life in the wake of the country’s genocide.
As media instructor and exhibit curator Scott Miller observers, “This is an exciting time in history to be teaching documentary media workshops - recording technology has become accessible, ushering in an age of democracy in terms of whose stories are told, and who does the telling. We are all richer as an audience learning from the expanding archive of human experiences recorded with creativity and honesty. Working with this diverse group of Vermonters over the past nine months has been a humbling experience.”
The opening reception will be May 11, 2012 from 5:00pm-7:00pm, and will feature a screening of selected media, with the producers present, beginning at 5:30 pm.