Caught by the Tale & Talking F.A.S.
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Deepening Tradition

Teaching Artists as Cultural Ambassadors in Communities

Yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting a Keynote at the New Jersey Arts Education Consortium's Multi-Day Teaching Artist Training entitled CREATECommunity.  The Prezi below developed in Social Entrepreneurship was a major tool in delivering the message.


Friday, September 7, 2012

The Power to Have Our Say

  This oral history project began in Professor Joel Gardner's Oral History Class. It includes interviews with a jailed civil rights pioneer and the sister of James Chaney (one of the slain Mississippi activist killed and buried by the KKK in the infamous 1964 voter rights photograph) VOTE - and just as important........ as one of the interviewees states:  "Bring Somebody with you!"


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In The Field

The on-campus residencies at MACS are seven to ten days each semester.  During each residency we experience the world of cultural sustainability through incredible field trips.  This week in our Models of  Social Entrepreneurship course we visited the Affinity Lab in Washington, DC.  to research the intricacies of co-working social enterprises.  Affinity Lab is the innovative brainchild of Phillipe Chetrit, Berit Oskey and Charles Planck.

As a creative membership model, Affinity presents brilliant solutions to issues that start ups and small social enterprises may inure.  It is a flexible blend of shared office space, incubators, and an entrepreneurial club.  Phillipe explained, "the space is always about the people." Other key dimensions are collaborative programming, communications tools, and space design.  Currently the 10-year old Lab hosts 65 members.

My colleagues and I benefitted from engaging and stimulating conversations with Ian Fisk of The William James Foundation; Chris Bradshaw of Dreaming Outloud; and, Freeman White of  The exchange engendered critical assessments toward our goals as scholars and cultural workers.

To explore possibilities for launching your social entrepreneurial dream visit Affinity Lab and research co-working spaces in your local area.

Models of Entrepreneurship is taught by co-director of the MACS program, Tiffany Espinosa in collaboration with Rebecca Saltman.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Practicing cultural sustainability through Seven Communal Principles

Umoja - Unity
Kujichagulia - Self Determination
Ujima - Collective Work and Responsibility
Ujamaa - Cooperative Economics
Nia - Purpose
Kuumba - Creativity
Imani - Faith


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

African American Storytellers Retreat

Another great benefit of the MACS program is the administrative support and assistance students receive in attending conferences related to their focused area of  cultural sustainability.  I was able to document the African American Storytellers Retreat after taking Cultural Documentation with Harold Anderson, Ph.D.  This semester, in Field Lab with Andy Kolovos, Ph.D, the discourse extends into logging, archiving, and interviewing.  Oral History with Joel Gardner, Ph.D provides exemplary perspective and technique.  Our core text book is"Doing Oral History" by Donald A. Ritchie.  In 2012 after attending the retreat, I will add oral history interviews to the archived photos and video from 2011.  I  think that a mixed media course on photography and videography would be advantageous, especially for neo-phytes such as myself.  I rarely picked up a camera prior to MACS, not even while raising my children.   

In the meantime, if you have any suggestions after watching this video, please feel free to comment.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Willingboro Senior Citizen Center - No Ordinary Day of Observation

Pat Delahaye making quilt for soldier oversees
Lillian Burroughs "Crazy Quilt"
On Friday October 21st, I went to the Willingboro Senior Citizen Center for my first day of observation.  It was a two-fold process - fulfilling an assignment for Cultural Documentation Field Lab and doing ethnography for the first Phase of In FACT's SCATTS program (Discovering the Folklife traditions of Willingboro).  Well, Sugar Pie Honey Bunch, It was Motown Revue Day.  Before the program started, I took the time to venture into the Creative Arts room where the Quilting Diva's greeting me warmly, and shared the passion of their craft. Have you visited your local senior citizen center lately?

                      Click below to watch:
     Video of Motown Revue
A friend asked me in a vibrantly pitched voice.... 
                  "These are SENIORS?"


Sunday, October 9, 2011

MACS as a matter of In FACT

Board Members in this photo (head of table to left):  Patricia Burch, Constance English, Cassandra Allen, Saundra Gillard Davis, TAHIRA, Gordon Boelter, Esq., Coniqua Abdul-Malik, Rita Moonsammy, Queen Nur, Herman English
Photo taken by board member:  Alonzo Jennings.

In FACT:  Innovative Solutions through Folk Art, Culture and Tradition 
is a cultural sustainability organization that was incorporated as a non-profit in New Jersey on July 8, 2011.  In FACT, Inc. is a social enterprise with a mission to perpetuate and preserve folklife traditions and to use these traditions to sustain communities and affect social change.  Through matriculating my Masters in Cultural Sustainability at Goucher College, this is how it came to be:

1.  Fall 2010 - Cultural Sustainability - Rory Turner, PhD.
Developed SCATTS (Sustaining Culture and Tradition Through Storytelling) as a Groundwork Project that involves fieldwork, folk arts workshops and a concert & exhibition.

2. Fall 2010 - Financial Skills - Pat Ouerdnik.
Developed business plan for non-profit organization, originally titled Caught By the Tale.  The business plan houses SCATTS.

3. Winter 2011 - Social Entrepreneurship - Rebbeca Saltman and Tiffany Espinosa.
Developed social enterprise concept and national scope of company.  Changed name to In FACT:  Innovative Solutions through Folk Art, Culture and Tradition.

4.  Winter 2011 - Cultural Documentation - Harold Anderson, PhD.
Developed plan for fieldwork and learned documentation techniques.  Fieldwork is the first phase of the SCATTS project.

5.  Communications 2011 - Communications - Kate Pippin
Developed six-month Communications Plan moving organization to next level, including strategies for 1st board meeting, and day-to-day priorities.

6. Fall 2010 - Leadership - Ross PhD
Learned techniques in leadership that framed selection of board, and increased my skills as President/CEO of company.

7.  Summer 2011 - Grantwriting - Melissa McCloud, PhD
Wrote and won Brimstone Grant from the National Storytelling Network for the SCATTS project.

8.  Fall 2011 -  Cultural Partnerships - Rita Moonsammy PhD and Amy Skillman PhD
Developed cultural partnership plan for second program: Community VOICE Circles:  VOICE (Victorious Outreach Igniting Civic Engagement).  Gained additional cultural partners for In FACT.

9.  Fall 2011- Field Lab - Andy Kolovos, PhD
Conducting initial fieldwork for SCATTS program.  Thomas Carroll PhD is the fieldwork consultant on the SCATTS project.  More to come....

10.  Fall 2011- Cultural Policy - Robert Baron, PhD
Writing papers and studying discourse on Cultural policy that has significance to policy and civic engagement initiatives of In FACT.  Conducted an interview with Joyce Goldsmith, Burlington County Division of Parks Cultural Coordinator for 1st paper.  More to come....

The faculty and administrative staff of Goucher provide multiple networking opportunities that are advantageous to my development as a cultural worker and to the establishment of the corporation.

In FACT is on the move with a dynamic board that knows how to give PRAISE:

Visit our website:  In FACT, Inc.

For more information about the developments from each course click on the MACS Course Work link above.