Broadening, strengthening, and deepening our understanding of Vermont; assuring a repository for our collective cultural memory; and strengthening communities by building connections among the diverse peoples of Vermont.

REGISTER TODAY FOR OUR DISCOVERING COMMUNITY SUMMER INSTITUTE

Save the date - June 25-29th - for the Vermont Folklife Center’s week-long summer institute for educators, Discovering Community: Students, Digital Media, and Place-Based Learning, which will be held in Middlebury, Vermont.

The Discovering Community Summer Institute offers participants basic hands-on experience learning the methods of community-based research, the process of making a documentary, and the skills of working with digital media - in a school setting.

Past participants have come from a broad spectrum of roles in the K-12 system, including classroom teachers, special educators, librarians, and administrators. This diversity makes group process a rich opportunity to explore ideas, probe models, and collaboratively visualize site-appropriate applications.

To learn more and for registration:www.discoveringcommunity.org

Building A Red Brick House

Another great piece of ethnographic and digital media put to use by Harwood Union students in Rwanda with their teacher, Steve Rand, and Greg Sharrow and Ned Castle from the Vermont Folklife Center.

Every Last Saturday of the month, Rwandans get together to work on a project as a community — it is called Umuganda. On this day, students helped build a red brick house for “vunerable” women and their families in the Butare region of southern Rwanda. They worked alongside many Rwandans, creating mortar with their feet and hoes, casting heavy bricks and hauling them to the construction zone, did some masonry, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. 

This photo story of the construction of the house — Umuganda — was created by Naomi, Olivia and Caitlin. Enjoy…

Group at BTV prior to leaving.  Steve Rand and Greg hanging out in BTV Greg with students exploring Dulles Greg framing ethnography for students Marley, Julia, and Naomi The group together on the bus Gisozi Genocide Memorial Museum Greg talking with a student

Greg Sharrow and Ned Castle in Rwanda with students and staff from Harwood Union High School.  For the second year in a row, Greg and Ned have taken part in Harwood’s Stories of Hope program, accompanying the students to teach them about ethnography and help them create ethnographically-grounded documentaries about their experiences.

Harwood Students Headed for Rwanda—- In less than a month, educator Steve Rand and his students from Harwood Union will be headed to Rwanda along with VFC staff members Greg Sharrow and Ned Castle. This project is funded by the Bay and Paul Foundations. Steve Rand is a past participant in VFC’s Discovering Community Summer Institute, and has since collaborated on many projects with VFC staff members. This will be the second year that Greg and Ned have prepared students for this life-changing trip.  Students will use the ethnographic and digital documentary skills acquired and practiced here in Vermont. Because of the staff’s long-term relationship with members of the Somali-Bantu people of Vermont, these young people have been conducting ethnographic interviews with individuals in the Somali-Bantu community, learning editing skills, and applying the concept of ethnographic research to photography. In April students will curate an exhibit of their resulting work in VFC’s Vision and Voice Documentary Gallery and Workspace. Stay tuned for dates!

Harwood Students Headed for Rwanda—- In less than a month, educator Steve Rand and his students from Harwood Union will be headed to Rwanda along with VFC staff members Greg Sharrow and Ned Castle. This project is funded by the Bay and Paul Foundations. Steve Rand is a past participant in VFC’s Discovering Community Summer Institute, and has since collaborated on many projects with VFC staff members. This will be the second year that Greg and Ned have prepared students for this life-changing trip.  Students will use the ethnographic and digital documentary skills acquired and practiced here in Vermont. Because of the staff’s long-term relationship with members of the Somali-Bantu people of Vermont, these young people have been conducting ethnographic interviews with individuals in the Somali-Bantu community, learning editing skills, and applying the concept of ethnographic research to photography. In April students will curate an exhibit of their resulting work in VFC’s Vision and Voice Documentary Gallery and Workspace. Stay tuned for dates!

OUR SHINING INTERNS FROM GREEN MOUNTAIN COLLEGE

This semester the VFC is very fortunate to have Frank Riley and Katie McAuley, both anthropology majors at Green Mountain College. They’re busy doing work for us including logging interviews our folklorists have conducted with Lost Boys from Sudan who have been settled here in Vermont. But they’re also working on their own projects, and being mentored by Greg Sharrow, Director of Education and Andy Kolovos, Archivist. Frank is developing his ethnographic and digital media skills while listening to Vermont potters tell their story and Katie is doing the same with Vermont vintners. We’re thrilled to have them!