Cultural Sustainability Workshop Regisration
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To register for workshops, please call the Vermont Folklife Center at (802) 388-4964 or download the form above and mail or fax to:

Vermont Folklife Center
Cultural Sustainability Institute

88 Main Street
Middlebury, VT 05753
Fax: (802) 388-1844

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(click on workshop titles to show/hide descriptions)

Oral History and the Art of the Interview – Friday, April 22, 2016, 10am-4pm.   $95.00
Instructors: Gregory L. Sharrow and Andy Kolovos

In the spirit of ethnographic research, an interview offers the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of another person. The premise of our interview methodology is that everyone is the foremost authority on their own life, and an interview offers the opportunity to capture a person’s experience in the their own words and on their own terms.

We see interviewing as a deeply human activity that can foster a sense of empathy and understanding between interviewer and interviewee, even if their life experiences are very different. From this perspective, the interview is driven by both respect and curiosity, which form the basis for asking meaningful questions. A key tool is focused listening, which enables the interviewer to fully engage with what the interviewee is saying and thoughtfully steer the interview process.

This workshop will offer a forum to explore these basic concepts in a conversational setting, as well as an opportunity to observe a demonstration interview. Participants will get hands-on experience conducting a mini-interview and working with digital audio recording equipment. Workshop participants with also have ongoing access to Vermont Folklife Center staff for consultation as they later undertake their own oral history, ethnographic and qualitative research projects.

Recording Audio for Ethnography, Oral History and Digital Storytelling – Saturday, May 21, 2016, 10am-4pm.  $95.00
Instructor: Andy Kolovos

Audio is a powerful medium for capturing human experience and human expression. In the context of cultural sustainability efforts, audio is an extremely useful tool for documenting local knowledge, exploring values and perceptions, and building resources for understanding and supporting cultural practices.

Intended for students, community members, staff members of non-profit cultural, community and social-service agencies, as well as professional researchers interested in learning more about audio recording options, this class will provide a basic introduction to the use of contemporary digital audio recording equipment in the context of ethnographic and oral history interviews.

Attendees will receive a thorough introduction to the fundamentals of digital audio, types of common field-recording microphones, and the use of digital audio recorders. The workshop includes hands-on exercises with equipment in an actual interview setting. We will use the TASCAM DR-40 and mobile devices for these exercises, but the fundamental skills demonstrated will be applicable to most currently available digital audio recorders. In addition to the use of this equipment, we will also cover the selection and purchase of audio recording equipment and Android and iOS recording apps.

Documentary Video Production – Friday, June 3, 2016 10am-4pm. $95.00
Instructor: Myles David Jewell, VFC Digital Media Instructor and Filmmaker

Visual media saturate our everyday lives, and video documentary--when well crafted and thoughtfully composed--can be a powerful means of sharing human experience. A basic understanding of the four phases of video production--Pre-Production, Production, Post-Production, and Distribution--provides a solid starting point for creating work that can have both rich social impact and documentary value. Although separated for the sake of discussion, in practice these four phases of production overlap and evolve during the process of creating a documentary work. Starting with brainstorming, predicting story structure, and organizing shoots, to the implementation of shoots and how to assemble a crew, through the editing and finally distribution process, this workshop is an introduction to the full process of creating a video documentary.

Intended for anyone interested in the value of non-fiction storytelling, particularly in the visual form, the workshop is only the tip of the iceberg to beginning a much more intensive process. Intended for students, educators, community members, staff members of non-profit cultural, community and social-service agencies, the methods taught in this class will look at historical approaches to non-fiction media, and how form and content inform the process of storytelling. It will also look at the logistics and ethics involved in embarking on this process.

Attendees will receive an overview of the four basic phases of producing documentary. This workshop will focus less on technical training, and instead look at the process as a whole. The day will cover each one of the phases as separate, but will demonstrate how each phase also has to be considered during all other phases. It will focus primarily on approaches to form and content, without the time consuming constraints of hands on technical training to equipment.

Minimal Resource Filmmaking – Friday, June 24, 2016 10am-4pm.   $95.00
Instructor: Myles David Jewell, VFC Digital Media Instructor and Filmmaker

Due to the simplicity and easy availability of technology like camcorders, digital cameras and--perhaps most significantly--the smartphone and tablet, many of us have generated vast quantities of images and video that are a challenge to share in their unedited form. In addition, the near-ubiquitous smartphone has so simplified the acts of taking photographs and shooting video that any of us can carry the power of a documentary filmmaker literally in our pockets.

But how can we edit these photos and footage on a budget? How can we best use the technology we already have at our fingertips to film and produce own documentaries? Through the power of minimal resource filmmaking we can tell compelling stories with the materials and tools we already have at hand.

Intended for anyone interested in learning how to use common tools of digital documentation,, educators looking to integrate media making into their classroom with minimal resources, or students looking to learn more professional storytelling techniques, this workshop will cover the basic premise of photographic composition, media management, and editing content into a shareable form. It will also apply the lens that although modern media is generally caught up in “spectacle,” smaller or more “mundane” stories also have cultural significance.

Attendees will receive a basic introduction into photographic composition and how to apply that to video. From good practices on how to shoot interviews, how to shoot to edit, scour already shot footage to edit dynamic looking videos, and managing media into a more workable form, we can all start to think differently about documentation with the minimal resources we have. The basic editing instruction will look at the commonalities between different non-linear editing platforms and how to get media into these programs. Attendees can bring their own devices to work with or can use provided iPod Touches to have hands on experience with programs such as iMovie. Finally, a basic set of research skills to troubleshoot technical problems and keep moving forward with media training will be implemented throughout the workshop.
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