Alumni Updates: Spring 2016

It’s time for another series of updates on the diverse set of projects our alums are championing! Several of them have announcements for our blog readers.

Photo by Suzanne Snider

Photo by Suzanne Snider

Laura Barnett

Laura Barnett OHMA '15 is a 2016 grantee recipient from The Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) for the oral-history based project: CREATING THE URBAN CANVAS: LAND ART ON A BROOKLYN STREET CORNER, which she has been working on in collaboration with artist Alfred Evans. She developed the project during Fall 2014 at OHMA and conducted interviews as part of Jerry Albarelli's class.

The grant, in the interdisciplinary category and supported by The Brooklyn Arts Fund, which is funded by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and will result in a public project to be completed by the end of 2016.


Carrie Brave Heart

Carrie Brave Heart (OHMA class of 2014) has been awarded an Oral History Grant from the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study for 2016-2017.  The title of the project is, “Agnes T. “Mary” Crawler (Ta-sina-mani-win) Native American Warrior Woman.”


Sewon Barrera, Nicki Pombier Berger, Cindy Choung, Sarah Dziedzic

Sewon Barrera, Nicki Pombier Berger, Cindy Choung, Sarah Dziedzic have founded In Context Journal, an independent quarterly platform for oral historical work and thoughtful explorations of what it means to listen, to speak, and to be heard. We welcome dialogue and engagement with practitioners of any field.

Call for Submissions for In Context Journal – Deadline June 1, 2016

“Questions,” for many of us, drive the work we do. As scholars, journalists, caregivers, oral historians, documentarians, and artists in many forms, our curiosities and those of our audiences propel and shape our work. We also attend to how we ask those questions––it invokes our ethics, affects the people we interact with, and determines whether we and our audiences deem our work a success or failure. But none of us have all the answers. We work in hopes of learning from doing, and in hopes of continuing to be surprised, humbled, and awoken to new questions. By starting with the theme of “Questions,” we seek to provide a forum that honors thoughtful inquiry, protest, and exchange within our community.

With that, we invite submissions to our inaugural issue on “Questions.” We encourage visual, audio, and textual works that provoke thought or discussion on this theme and which resonate with the mission of In Context Journal.

Submissions Guidelines

Submissions can be of any medium, length, and/or file size but if you plan to send us a file larger than 25MB, please email us with a project description first. In Context Journal particularly encourages submission of works exploring new and innovative angles of consideration and reflection. We also accept submissions that have been published previously and compelling works in progress. In acknowledgement of the best ethical practices in oral history, please submit work only if appropriate permissions for your sources have been obtained. Currently, we do not offer compensation for publication. Send submissions to by June 1, 2016.


Andrew Viñales

Recently, I was hired as an Oral History Researcher at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro) at Hunter College. I am one of many oral historians at Centro responsible for interviewing nominated Puerto Rican leaders, activists, and notable figures. Our goal is to generate a wealth of material for researchers and other people interested in Puerto Rican diaspora in the United States. Or contributions, struggles, and visibility, on a national scale with other oral historians working in Chicago, Florida and Philadelphia (and we are expanding further!). I am honored to be on part of this team and the opportunity to interview folks I have grown up hearing about!


Liza Zapol

Liza Zapol will be presenting at Celebrating the City: Jane Jacobs at 100.

As part of the Municipal Art Society of New York’s festival Celebrating the City: Jane Jacobs at 100, join us for free outdoor drawing sessions inspired by our unique urban landscape and the stories of the city. Create your own cityscape while local artist and oral historian Liza Zapol shares stories and insights that delve into the evolving visible skyline from the Whitney’s terraces.

Watching what Jacobs called the “intricate ballet” of the city streets below, we’ll look closely at layers of history in the streets and buildings, hear stories about the people who have haunted the area, and learn about the artists who were inspired by this landscape. Visitors will be invited to share their own stories and sense of place through a mapmaking exercise. Drawing materials and stools will be provided.