Green River, Utah
October 22-November 22, 2015
Host: Epicenter (as part of a Frontier Fellowship)
Additional sites: Pirate's Den Teen Center, Green River High School, Pyramid Youth Programs
This month, as part of a Frontier Fellowship at Epicenter, I took a break from collecting and exhibiting to do three programs with Green River Youth. On October 22 I set up at the Pirate's Den Teen Center for their Lights On night. A few of the kids jumped in as my security guards and docents, running the show for the night.
I led a four day creative writing and storytelling workshop at Green River High School, working with Mr. Gowan's 11th and 12th grade Language Arts classes. The workshop, called "A life in Objects: Creating fiction from fact with the help of an unusual museum collection," used the MMoAA collection to inspire creative writing prompts and create conversation about the elements of good storytelling. For their final assignment, students wrote fictional stories about some of the objects in the museum collection—the collection of flip phones, the lye soap, the Pool Boys, the melted glasses, and the lead. They didn't learn the true stories behind these artifacts until the final day of class, when for each object we read the aloud the fictional stories along with the true story, voting on which we believed to be real. For four out of six objects, students voted on one of their classmates stories rather than the true story as the most convincing. We discussed what makes a story convincing, what we expect in a story attached to an object in a museum, and how to create persuasive, descriptive writing and stories.
Pyramid Youth Programs hosted me for another two part workshop, this time with younger kids, age 6-9. Kids explored the mobile museum and then brought objects from home to create their own museum exhibit.
Thanks so much to Epicenter, Green River High School, and Pyramid Youth Programs.