Enid Baxter Blader - A Place is a Story (Notes)

Topic: Inspiring Students and Visitors to Museums to Feel Like "Explorers"

"A Place is a Story: Teaching, Telling and Script Writing" : Framing Reading - Community Projects Class, and review of a video which entails a film over.

01. Let images tell the story.
02. Chromatics, See John R. Stilgoe, "Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places." Noticing the interplay of light, myriad effects of interacting color across the landscape…study of chromatics.
03. "Exploration is a liberal art, because it is an art that liberates, that frees, that opens away from narrowness."
04. "I'm a place nerd…I research every place I live!"
05. Sample Assignment:

- Take Snapshots of the location chosen and include related or archival images
- Please create in MS Word a photo essay. Paste each photo to a page.
- Consider issues (e.g., gang violence)

Observe, considering:

- Don't be afraid of poetry in your journal.
- It happens when one is genuinely observant.
- Must have cadence, images must carry the content.

Map based websites (see http://local909er.com): Linked images or photo galleries include more detailed text-based summaries of issues to be addressed or site or place related content.

- A tour, a film, a classroom are time based…and content must be managed effectively and efficiently.
- Photo essay construed as a Diary…dates and summaries of daily or weekly events.
- Different photo essays are introduced to students to give them a sense of how toe prepare photo essays, but was still getting substandard photo essays.
- This film is not the hero's journey, or a historical site tour, it's me carrying a video camera. Website is a photo tour of the film…with additional detail.

Photo Essay Guidelines

- Please identify a place you'd like to focus on.
- Indicate the name, location, and unique characteristics of the place; e.g., population density, military history, diversity, founding reason for place name, attractions, etc.
- Identify a central issue or conflict the place has faced in the past.
-Identify a current condition/challenge/opportunity for this place.
-Identify a future challenge, etc.

If you come up with an assignment for students, the author, faculty, or professor who designed the assignment should actually do the assignment.

- Planet Ord: Ride around the Fort Ord on bicycles and asked students to take photos of the various features of the site, and then question why and how the feature came into effect.
- About Galleries, Previews, A Brief History, etc.
- Entire site consists of 82 pages of text.
- Blog
- Contact
- Credits

Have "characters" walk through…or be depicted in photo essay so that viewer could feel like an "explorer."

- Planet Ord: Haunt Box (video)
- Facebook Post from Military Reporter: "I'm being embedded in a college art project…bring a glock!"
- Website developer for http://fortording.com was Jenny Conte of Houston; Site's premier was met by 120,000 web hits.
- Facebook portion of site is Fortording.com

Parting Advice:

- Inspire exploration
- Let images work
- Trust viewers

  • Leave spaces open so as to permit viewers to infill and become the storytellers themselves
  • Dramatic presentation, interface with image and sound, and how as a viewer I became so much more engaged with the content.
  • Classroom is a time based experience…images do the work, for it is not the voice or narration but the timing that is key to successfully engaging the viewer.
  • Do not ask to students to include questions in narrative; remove or delete the questions from narrative, but use them merely as prompts.
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