Friday, October 23, 2015

Draft Evaluation Plan complete and updates on where we're at

We've submitted the draft Evaluation Plan to the team, including a full description of our methodology as well as the Evaluation Framework that translates the goals of the grant into measurable outcomes and outputs.  In turn, the Evaluation Framework identifies which questions we can start to address with what kind of data gathering, and for surveys, we've already identified questions for both a short form and a longer form.  We've created a short form that is intended to be used for public events with pretty quick interactions, a second form to be used after longer individual pinning sessions, and a third one that can be used for repeat sessions.

This is all a bit of a work and progress, but the Santa Ana team has begun testing the surveys at a couple of their public events.  While the first one they tried was a failure (with 0 out of 102 participants opting to complete the survey), the second iteration already provide a drastic change in results, giving us great details on nearly 50 participants.  Jessica has set this up as a Google form that is accessed at their events and we therefore have live, structured data in a shared spreadsheet.  This will be added to as they do more events and as long as we all use the same survey forms, we'll be able to easily aggregate these with the projects across the country to track our statistics.  This is all making the research and evaluation team in London very happy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Data Preservation Workflow Plan

One of the primary deliverables of this project is a Data Preservation Workflow Plan (D.1). This plan outlines how Historypin will make User Generated Content (UGC) available for preservation for the participating libraries and will also store a preservation version with the Internet Archive.  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Summer and Fall 2015 Event Strategy

In an effort to drum up an audience for the Memories of Migration project, the Santa Ana team decided to participate in different community events. At these events, we had two main activities, "Mapping Migration Stories" and "Migration Story Photos", as well as a plethora of information about the project. It was our hope that reaching out to community members, at events they enjoy attending, would help to establish a safe platform to share experiences and stories, and develop a group of individuals who are excited about the project and want to participate. Attached you will find links to a list of events we participated in during the months of June through September 2015, as well as a short .pdf with photos and information about our events. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Memories of Migration: New Mexico, Part 10

Our statewide project is finally getting underway! After a year of planning and prototyping through our Exhibit Design class, we are ready to roll.

We have an outstanding team! Our project coordinator is Miles Tokunow, who is completing his MA at Highlands where he has pursued his passion for Community Technology through, among other interesting activities, organizing maker workshops at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science for Girl Scouts and the general public. He will also be coordinating the New Mexico Makerstate Initiative, a partnership with the New Mexico State Library (NMSL) now entering its third year.

Miles will be based out of an office in Las Cruces at the Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. He will be assisted by Allie Burnquist, an AmeriCorps Cultural Technology intern, who worked last year as an intern on the Makerstate Initiative. Allie, who has organized and led maker programs all over the state for the past year, will be based out of the Natural Museum in Albuquerque. She will also be working on the Makerstate Initiative. We are excited that our liaison person with the NMSL is Deanne Dekle, the new Youth Services & Outreach person. Deanne is the former Youth Librarian at the Roswell Public Library, and is a great addition to the team.

We had an exciting brainstorming session with NMSL staff last week on getting started, how to coordinate Memories of Migration with Makerstate, and how to recruit libraries from around the state. That process will be getting underway soon. We actually already have our first partner, the Pueblo de Abiquiu Library and Cultural Center. They have been researching their Genizaro migration history in collaboration with local scholars and the UC Berkeley Community Archaeology Partnership, and have been documenting their history with the help of teen historians. They are eager to share their village's unique Memories of Migration stories on Historypin. We also had a very interesting meeting with New Mexico tribal librarians and will be including one or two tribal libraries in the project. Final selection will follow a survey that Deanne will be sending out soon from NMSL.

Memories of Migration: New Mexico, Part 9

One of the lessons from the Memories of Migration Exhibit Design class was the value of short form video to our project. The videos produced by the class focused on providing historical context for contemporary events.  

At the conclusion of the class, Las Vegas Citizens’Committee for Historic Preservation, our community partner, was very happy with the results of the collaboration but disappointed that several historical stories important to them were not covered. One of those stories was that of Jewish merchants. Another was that of Chinese laborers.

The story of Jewish merchants who came West over the Santa Fe Trail to seek their fortunes is well documented and preserved by descendants, and many of the buildings they built and institutions they founded in Las Vegas still serve as reminders of the contributions they made before they uprooted and continued on their migration journeys. The Chinese laborers, who came to build the railroad and stayed on for a while, however, left barely a trace. Uncovering that story is going to be much more challenging.

To address the CCHP’s interest in documenting these stories, we were able to provide a summer intern from our AmeriCorps Cultural Technology Program, Shane Flores. Shane produced this new video, The Great Emporium: Charles Ilfeld and the Jewish Merchants of Las Vegas, New Mexico

This semester Shane will be piecing together the story of the Chinese laborers in a new video for a class he is taking. Shane is also in the process of creating YouTube and Vimeo channels for all of the videos and pinning the four videos we have so far for Las Vegas to Historypin.

Friday, September 4, 2015

This is a test embedded pin

I love the Fiesta Marketplace and found it on the Memories of Migration project on Historypin and want to talk about it here.

this is a test embed

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Santa Ana City Webpage

After a tremendous amount of work by Anh Vu, the Librarian in charge of Technology Services for the Santa Ana team, our city webpage for the Memories of Migration grant is now live! Please check out our page and let us know what you think! 

Anh, thank you for all of the hard work, guidance, and patience you put forth as we worked to develop content for the page. You are an invaluable resource for our team, and all you do is greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Memories of Migration: New Mexico, Part 8

Cultural Traditions

For her section of the exhibit Memories of Migration: Las Vegas, Exhibit Design Class student Gloria Lovato chose to investigate a local cultural tradition that turned out to have a long and fascinating migration story all its own. Combining research with consultation with a local master of the tradition, Beatrice Maestas Sandoval, and the Mora Valley Spinning Mill, Gloria created graphics panels that included photographs, text, and instructions for making the stitch, as well as a hands-on component, and small case small display of tools and supplies.

Colcha is a regional tradition in northern New Mexico that migrated with Spanish colonists in the 17th century, perhaps by crypto-Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. Even by then the stitch had a long history in Asia and Europe. In Europe the embroiderers used silk cloth and thread, but in New Mexico it was adapted to the more humble materials at hand--cotton and wool. Oriental and European motifs influenced the first designs, but gradually local plants and animals were introduced. This once almost lost tradition is undergoing a revival. It preserves within it an important migration story. 

Memories of Migration: New Mexico, Part 7

The Exhibit Design Class students who prototyped the Memories of Migration project spent a lot of time discussing how to make the "memory gathering" experience interesting and relevant to diverse audiences, including children. When the students consulted their parents and grandparents about their childhoods, they often heard descriptions of reality far different from the idealized image of childhood reflected in museum collections and storybooks. 
Natasha Rudolph, who works part-time in the Las Vegas Carnegie Public Library, spearheaded a section of the exhibit that included graphics panels and a play area for children featuring multicultural storybooks about migration from a child's perspective, traditional toys and games of the type brought by settler children who traveled the Old Santa Fe Trail, and traditional schoolhouse supplies, such as a slate board and chalk. She consulted with the City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Riders Memorial Collection and photographed artifacts from the collection for the graphics panel. 
Childhood: Like children all over the world, children growing up in Las Vegas were prepared for their gender roles and adult responsibilities from a very young age through their play and helping with chores. Boys play centered on sports and outdoor games, while girls play tended to center on homemaking skills and role-playing with dolls.

Education: During the settlement of the West it was the teachers who were the immigrants, sent into the new territories to prepare the populations that were already there for U.S. statehood and citizenship. When New Mexico became a U.S. Territory in 1846, educating children became an essential part of assimilation and the Americanization of the population. Teachers were brought in from outside the Territory because no system of public education or teacher training existed here yet. Prior to that time, children had been mostly educated at home and on the ranch, and the main language spoken was Spanish. Upper class Hispanics sent their sons to Mexico and St. Louis for education. Daughters continued to be educated at home. Among the first teachers to arrive in Las Vegas, in 1869, were the Sisters of Loretto, an order of nuns founded in Kentucky whose mission was to educate poor children on the Western frontier. Strict discipline was a hallmark of their schools. In 1893, New Mexico Normal School (now New Mexico Highlands University) was established to train teachers locally.

Memories of Migration: New Mexico, Part 6

Shortform video (e.g., videos under ten minutes in length) is becoming increasingly important for museums both in exhibits and on social media. The three videography students in the Exhibit Design Class working on the Memories of Migration project each chose their own topics. Nick Lormand, a dual major in biology from Colorado, chose to focus on the ecological uniqueness of Las Vegas and its surroundings and why it is such a good place for a town. The video by Andrew Shepard, a Navajo student from Shiprock, NM, focuses on the role of Las Vegas in a very dark episode in American history, the forced migration known as the Navajo Long Walk, the subject of a longer video he had recently produced for the Bosque Redondo Memorial during an AmeriCorps Cultural Technology internship. And in his video, Chris Killion, a student from Farmington, NM, explores the influx of settlers who came to farm the rich agricultural land surrounding Las Vegas and the environmental and economic forces that caused them to leave.     
A sense of place: The Las Vegas environment is rich in natural resources and scenic beauty. It was also a strategic location militarily and as a center for trade. Once you know that, it’s easy to understand why so many people were attracted to the area and why there was so much conflict over the opportunity to settle here—it’s always been a good place for a town.

Forced migration: Native American tribes already occupied the land when settlers from Mexico and later from the United States arrived. Oppression of Native American populations by the U.S. government was often brutal. At the hands of the U.S. military, Native American tribes suffered forced migrations and the establishment of the reservation system. Native languages and spiritual practices were suppressed. Other government programs aimed to “civilize” Indians. Passing through Las Vegas to and from Fort Union was one of four routes of the Navajo Long Walk, one of the most tragic episodes of all.

A sense of time: The story of migration involves people going as well as coming. The reasons why people leave and where they go to can be as important as why they come and from where. Las Vegas is located in a prime agricultural region, and people came from all over to farm and ranch. During the 1920s and 1930s, a major drought disrupted the agricultural way of life, and many people were forced to leave in search of greener pastures. The drought and concurrent economic downturn were important factors contributing to the town’s decline and leading to Las Vegas as it is today.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Memories of Migration: New Mexico Part 5


Here are some panels from the introductory section of the exhibition taken during installation. They include panels on acknowledgements, an introduction to the Memories of Migration project, a panel on the migration history of Las Vegas, and a panel about architecture and the layout of the town.