FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Arts Council will offer its six-week Community Scholars Program in Allen County for people who want to use oral history and folklife fieldwork to document their traditions and culture. The course provides a series of presentations and hands-on training, and participants work on a project of their choice.
The program will be offered with assistance from the Kentucky Folklife Program at Western Kentucky University and in partnership with the Allen County Folklife and Oral History Project.
"We are excited about the opportunity to offer the Community Scholars Program training in Allen County," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "We hope many residents will consider joining the ranks of more than 150 certified community scholars across the state that are trained to document and conserve the interesting and remarkable aspects of the places they live."
Students from Western Kentucky University's Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology have documented community life in Allen County during the last two years through recorded interviews, photography and videography as part of the Allen County Folklife and Oral History Project. Community members are invited to participate in the next stage of the project and play an active role in documenting, conserving, and presenting the unique culture and traditions of Allen County as they work to become Kentucky Community Scholars.
"Over the past two years many Allen County residents have partnered with WKU's folk studies graduate students on this folklife survey," said Brent Bjorkman, director of the Kentucky Folklife Program. "Now it is time for those with a keen interest to practice their own documentation skills to envision and carry out their own projects that further celebrate the depth and breadth of community culture."
An introductory meeting and orientation will be from 6-8 p.m. CDT Wednesday, July 10, at the Community Action of Southern Kentucky in Scottsville.
The course covers topics such as interviewing and photography techniques, research methods, presenting cultural resources, archiving, grant-writing and project development. By the end of the course, participants will know how to collect, interpret, present, and archive their research, ensuring that it will benefit their community for years to come. Participants will also begin research for a project about the folklife or history of their community.
Graduates of the class are certified as Kentucky Community Scholars, a title that is recognized by several state and federal grant programs.
For more information contact Mark Brown, arts council folk and traditional arts program director, at 502-564-3757, ext. 495, or by email at Mark.Brown@ky.gov.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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