To close out 2016, OHMA is excited to share these recent news updates about our students and alumni. We hope that you will be able to join us for our Spring Open House on January 26 and One-Day Oral History Training Workshops on January 28, 2017 to meet a number of our program affiliates—including Nicki and Fernanda—and learn more about their innovative projects!
Nicki Pombier Berger (2010) is embarking on a collaboration with playwright Suli Holum on a new project about the Bakken shale in western North Dakota.
Working with students and faculty from the Theatre and Gender Students departments at North Dakota State University, Nicki and Suli will lead a trip to the oil boom/bust town of Williston, ND, in January 2017. They will lead workshops in oral history interviewing and support students in conducting interviews with an intersectional selection of women of Williston.
These initial, exploratory interviews will form the basis of research that guides the development of a new play about the Bakken, a rock formation roughly 350 million years old sitting deep below the surface of North Dakota.
Erica Fugger (2012) and Cameron Vanderscoff (2013) recently gave a lecture at the Centre for Public History at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangaluru, India, on the intersection of oral history and peace activism.
Erica spoke about her ongoing international work with the Plum Village community of engaged Buddhist practitioners and Cameron discussed his recent founding of the Okinawa Memory Initiative through the Davis Projects for Peace program.
Erica and Cameron’s continued collaboration, “Oral Historians for Peace,” will seek to explore how to mobilize historical dialogue and multivocal narratives within sites of contemporary protest and conflict.
Laura Barnett (2013) recently conducted teacher training in oral history as part of The Performing Arts Legacy Project. She worked with five younger actors to prepare them to conduct oral histories with ten veteran stage performers.
The Legacy Project is a program of the Research for Arts and Culture (RCAC), which was founded in 1985 at Columbia University. The Legacy Project works in partnership with the national human services organization The Actors Fund and is directed by RCAC founder Joan Jeffri, who is also the former director of the graduate program in Arts and Administration at Columbia University.
Fernanda Espinosa (2015) is currently an artist in residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, Florida, as part of the Artists as Activist Fellowship won with the People's Collective Arts/Colectivo de Arte Popular.
This group has used the residency to strengthen their internal structures in order to be ready for the political panorama in the new year. They have also created new artwork for the public space made to be participatory and inspirational as a way to both honor stories of resistance and build much more needed people-power.
The collective also been able to use the time, space, and tools offered by the program to dedicate concentrated time for a number of projects planned for 2017, including a visual series for language and racial justice, large-scale mobilizations in Washington, D.C., and arts programming at their home-based space in Bushwick, New York.