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.
Saturday, September 19, 2015
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.