Oral History, Asset-Mapping, and other workshops

Below you will find a few examples of workshops that Local Learning consultants have facilitated. Contact us to customize a workshop experience that works for your group!

Mapping Culture (45 min-2 hours)

What does a map of local culture look like? Maps can tell us where we are and help us plan where we are going next. Maps also share key information about a particular place. Going beyond physical structures and landmarks of a community, this presentation looks to creating a greater awareness of how cultural knowledge, lived-experiences, and even invisible spaces can come to life in map making. The creative possibilities found in a mapping research process will provide entrée to a host of rich topics for discussion. Participants will also engage in a brief mapping exercise to take with them into their own classrooms or afterschool spaces.

Conversing with Artifacts, Connecting with Communities (90 min-2 hours)

“Intersections: Folklore and Museum Education” is the theme of the 2016 edition of the Journal of Folklore and Education. This workshop introduces concepts and strategies from this issue to engage participants in active learning using the ethnographic tools of folklore to enhance museum education and outreach. Participants will explore ways to connect museums and museum collections more strongly to current and new audiences. Through personal artifact exchanges, we will investigate the meaning of objects from different points of view. We will employ close observation, practice interviewing, and create a dialogue between artifacts and people, museums and audiences. We will also consider the cultural assumptions of visitors, learners, and staff members about museums and how these assumptions influence engagement. Discussion of applications in different kinds of museums and various departments in museums will align museums’ missions with new ideas for education and outreach endeavors. Museums contribute significantly to local culture and distinctiveness. This workshop will model practices to help museums tap the local and find fresh ways to connect with communities. We explore: How can folklorists who work in education and museum educators collaborate to their mutual benefit? What tools and resources does the field of folklore and education bring to museums?

The Art of Culture:  A Local Perspective  (1-2 hours)

Folk or Traditional Arts may be found in every community. Study of traditional arts and their creators contributes not only to students’ understanding of culture and community, but also to their ability to think critically, gather and analyze evidence, and express their ideas and interpretations through personal creativity. Folk arts are uniquely suited to explore how traditional art forms reflect the history, aesthetics, geography, and values of different cultures and communities. This workshop will walk participants through a sequence of discovery and representation to explore the art of culture. Time for reflection is included and it will particularly focus upon critical questions of power and identity relative to creative acts of representation.

Oral History (half day to full day)

Our workshops on how to collect oral histories and preserve them for future generations include hands-on learning so that each participant can leave with a classroom-ready set of tools for this research process. Work with Local Learning Consultants to learn how to draw out rich narratives and stories, interpret, and best share these oral histories with other audiences. Ethical considerations for doing oral histories with diverse communities will be highlighted, including how to develop release forms for participants and how to value diverse perspectives that can be shared through the interview process.