The Community Documentation Workshop (CDW) is well underway. Teams are out filming events and conducting interviews. In our conversations together, we’re reflecting on the themes we hear in our interviews. What is most important to our interviewees? What moves us? Where do we find a story? Might there be a call to action? Are there sentiments in our footage that might unite our separate projects? We’ll continue to work with these questions and more as the weeks go on. While out filming events, folks are learning to work as a team, taking on roles as producers, interviewers, and camera operators. 

The team from the Islamic Association of the Finger Lakes (IAFL) recently documented a Celebration of Cultures event hosted by IAFL at the Arnot Mall in Horseheads, NY. IAFL’s community comprises people from over forty countries across five continents. Team members formed two groups and spent time observing the many displays, and interviewing people about what they chose to share about their respective heritage and why they wanted to participate in this event. 

Ancient Voices Media, made up of sisters Jocelyn and Cami Jones, spent a couple of days interviewing their uncle, Peter B. Jones, a Haudenosaunee potter, about his life and his artwork. Jones is an artist in residence at the Stanley “Sully” Huff Heritage Center on the Cattaraugus Territory of the Seneca Nation of Indians. He is currently teaching apprentices how to harvest clay, build with it, and pit fire in ways that make the pots useful for holding liquids and food. 

In our next post, we’ll learn about what the teams from Food for the Spirit and United Steel Workers Local 1000 have been working on. Stay tuned.

This program would not be possible without the partnerships of the  Chemung County Historical Society,  Elmira College, the Genesee Valley Arts Council, and the  Chemung County Library District MakerSpace. The Community Documentation Workshop is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corning Incorporated Foundation.

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