Introduction by Paddy Bowman and Lisa Rathje, editors
Local Learning Focus: The Gallery of Conscience A gallery director, a community engagement collaborator, and a classroom teacher examine the profound implications of opening museum exhibitions about contemporary, controversial issues to public and student co-curation. The projects involve folk artists and folklore’s ethnographic tools to create a participatory space to learn about an issue from multiple perspectives, with the possible outcome of fostering empathy and understanding. (Gallery of Conscience Section pdf here)
Like a Jazz Song: Designing for Community Engagement in Museums by Suzanne Seriff
Between Two Worlds: A Collaborative Curriculum Addressing Immigration through Folk Art, Media Literacy, and Digital Storytelling by Laura Marcus Green with Katy Gross and Tara Trudell
Learning Application: Tips for Adapting a Collaborative Curriculum in Classrooms or Museums
Learning Application: Collaborative Curriculum Introductory Lesson Plan
Dismantling Racism in Museum Education (pdf here) by Marit Dewhurst and Keonna Hendrick
Two museum educators seek to create an opportunity for museum educators to think critically about how to dismantle racist practices in their professional lives. Revising our view of objects as sites for multiple narratives, personal connections, and historical/social interrogations, offers lively ways to talk about power and privilege.
Heritage Repatriation and Educational Sovereignty at an Ojibwe Public School (pdf here) by B. Marcus Cederström, Thomas A. DuBois, Tim Frandy, and Colin Gioia Connors
The nuanced, demanding art of birchbark canoe building brought together academic folklorists, a Native school community, and folk artists. The authors conclude that cultural projects involving Native American and non-Native educators are more effective when they embrace Native pedagogies that enact rather than describe culture. “There is a difference between teaching the culture, and teaching culturally.”
The Urgency of Empathy and Social Impact in Museum (pdf here) by Mike Murawski
Talking about museums only as brick-and-mortar institutions or as “it,” distances us from the human-centered work that museums do. Remembering that museums are made of people is essential to connecting effectively to communities and fostering empathy.
Learning Application: Have Conversations Here
Native Eyes: Honoring the Power of Coming Together (pdf here) by Lisa Falk and Jennifer Juan
A museum partnership with Native tribes blossomed from a film festival to an ongoing regional, multigenerational series of programs, workshops, and a wide array of events. When partners practice respect for what each brings to the table, the result can be powerful, meaningful programs that honor cultural knowledge and link unique communities together.
Writing as Alchemy: Turning Objects into Stories, Stories into Objects (pdf here) by Rossina Zamora Liu and Bonnie Stone Sunstein
Writing is often forgotten as a folk practice, even though early writings happened on building walls, textiles, and surfaces of objects such as those displayed in homes and museums. Writing gives shape to stories that artifacts carry, reshaping the artifacts themselves. In “shifting the shape” of each artifact, thereby layering meaning to it, writing also changes the dynamics and exchanges between the writer and the object. Writing has the power to turn objects into stories and stories into objects. Writing is a double act of alchemy.
Learning Application: Three Class Exercises for Writing with Artifacts
I. Working through an Idea
II. Collaborative Artifact Exchange
III. Write a Review of Writing that Highlights an Artifact
Spotlight: Local Learning @ Vermilionville (pdf here) by Paddy Bowman
A partnership between a folk arts education organization and a museum has created a ripple effect that touches students, enriches teachers’ approaches, and connects the community with the museum in diverse ways.
Museum Cultural Ambassadors: Parent Engagement through Museum and School Partnerships (pdf here) by Dawn Brooks-Decosta, Francis Estrada, and Erin K. Hylton
Starting as a pilot to increase parent involvement in a partnership school, the Cultural Ambassadors Program ultimately allowed parents and their children to communicate deeply about their experiences in museums and memories of their communities. Looking at art and discussing artists’ processes allowed participants to connect art with community and create deeper engagement and learning for the school and museum partners.
Student Curators Demonstrate Learning by Transforming Schools into Museums (pdf here) by Peg Koetsch
A classroom museum model combines social, intellectual, and physical experiences that stimulate students’ different learning styles and provide team-bonding opportunities. Student curators research, collect, categorize, create, exhibit, and interpret primary and secondary resources about events and cultures as they become teachers for the school community.
Inspired Learning: The Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Art Museum Education Strategies (pdf here) by Betty J. Belanus and Charmaine Branch
Visitors can become active learners if provided the tools, but visitors to cultural institutions and events bring styles of and preferences for receiving and processing information that may have little to do with the venue. This article examines two learning venues, the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival and art museums, and four learning strategies used in both settings in different ways.
Learning Application: The Story Behind a Folk Craft
Journal of Folklore and Education Book Reviews, Thomas Grant Richardson, JFE review editor
The Art of Relevance, by Nina Simon
Sarah M. Hatcher
Mose Rager: Kentucky’s Incomparable Guitar Master, by Carlton Jackson
From Dog Bridegroom to Wolf Girl: Contemporary Japanese Fairy-Tale Adaptations in Conversation with the West, by Mayako Murai
Public Folklore Programs and University Museums: Partnerships in Education
Lisa L. Higgins, Special Section Editor
A cadre of professional folklorists came together to provide insight into their unique programs and roles directing state folk arts and folklife programs within or in partnership with university-based museums.
Traditional Arts Indiana at Indiana University’s Mathers Museum
by Jon Kay
The Kentucky Folklife Program and the Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky University
by Brent Björkman and Virginia Siegel
Michigan Traditional Arts Program at Michigan State University Museum and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs
by Marsha MacDowell and C. Kurt Dewhurst
Missouri Folk Arts Program at the University of Missouri’s Museum of Art and Archaeology in Partnership with the Missouri Arts Council
by Lisa L. Higgins
Learning Application: Show Me Traditions: A Family Folklore Lesson Plan
University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, the Folklife Resource Center, and the South Carolina Arts Commission—A Partnership
by Saddler Taylor