Just wanted to  thank the New Jersey Council of Humanities for bestowing an incubation grant on my new adventure in Digital Storytelling.  It’s called the Highland Park African American History Project, a multimedia effort to capture the history of one of the bedrock communities of my hometown.  Created in conjunction with Highland Park High School, a remarkably diverse group of students have already begun filming, and are receiving instruction from professional-quality instruction in ethnographic/ historical research, how to conduct interviews, audio/video production and postproduction.  The long term goal being the creation of a digital archive that can be added to in perpetuity.

Most importantly, students are being given real experience in the field; entering people’s lives and communicating on a face-to-face, human level. This community-based learning offers invaluable opportunities for personal and academic growth, as well as the chance to interact with individuals they may have never met otherwise.  African-American students in particular are learning and maintaining an integral component of their heritage. This is particularly timely because many of the keepers of the oral tradition have recently passed away.  Many more are in declining health, and this may be the last chance to record their memories before it’s too late.  I hope to have a video trailer and some clips for the HPAAHP up on this site in the next couple weeks, but in the meantime, here’s the announcement from the NJCH…


One Response to “NJCH GRANT”

  1. Andrei Tarchovsky says:

    I keep on forgetting to come onto your site every once in a while to check how you’re doing these days…Fortunatley I stumbled upon it today.

    Firstly, I’d like to congradulate you on your grant! It sounds like a wonderful oppertunity and I’m glad that your work is being recognized.

    Secondly, I think it’s a wonderful thing what you’re doing with this. Watching your “Little Bit of Both” movie, I always admired your interest in diversity in your hometown. This relates particularly to me as someone who’s interested in anthoropology and linguists. I believe it’s important the preserve the culture and history of peoples before it’s too late.

    As someone coming from a country where our history and language was almost annihilated by invaders, it really means a lot to me and I can relate to it. I can agree that finding cultural identity is a very significant to me.

    It’s wonderful that you’re showing students the joy in filming a documentary and understand the lives of so many other people and learning to think from other people’s perspectives. On top of that, it’s amazing that you’re documenting African American history, a subject that isn’t discussed about too often, it’s great that you’re trying to preserve and get people more interested in their culture.

    I’m glad to see you’re doing well and I wish you luck in more of your films in the future!

    ~Nebreska Turner from VA.

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