The Old Federal Road Storytelling Festival at the Ridge Interpretive Center in Warrior Stand, South Macon County has become a wonderful and memorable tradition! This festival was born to strengthen community arts and rural place-making in Macon County Alabama. To do this requires building trust and sharing vulnerabilities with the communities with which we work. The Festival honors the layered histories, the unsung herstories, the rewritten our stories of South Macon creating a place of sharing and exchange. The 2017 performers, musicians, historians and community leaders that shared the stage were absolutely excellent!
Through the sponsorship of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Alabama Humanities Foundation, AL 200 and Auburn University’s College of Liberal Arts, this festival is free to the public. It is part of the larger initiative to catalyze sustainable economic growth and community development throughout the County and capital of Tuskegee. As Lindsey Lunsford, featured storyteller who brought back Mrs. Nellie Reid, founder of the South Macon Training School, says of her own work it ” draws on Black Power and cultural sovereignty to strengthen and reshape the modern environmental ethos that reclaims community, food and space.” Already looking forward to 2018!
MOBILE STUDIO has replicated itself: model and methodology, and taken up residency at University of Richmond, Downtown in collaboration with the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement! Last February, early spring 2015, Daniel and Jocelyn traveled to Richmond, Virginia, and with the young activists and artists in the American Studies course, “Public Art and Social Change in the River City,” led by Drs. Sylvia Gale and Alexandra Byrum and the awesome Grace Leonard; built this unique version of the 10 x 10 drawing box and investigated the terrain together.
Over the course of a week, we set the studio up in three different river city neighborhoods to take the pulse of this relationship: river to city, heron/ child/ storm water/ grandmother/ native fishery/ freeway/ kayak… Over the course of the semester, we designed a block-long mural for the Cary Street neighborhood to evoke these complex intertwined stories of the James River and its people, the living river city.
The mural was painted in March by many hands, a co-creative process led by local artist, Heide Trepanier. It speaks of risk, of love, of shad and eagles, of the physical, systemic ways we make our world and the tenuous flow of lifeblood, of water throughout. The lovely wooden studio, designed to convene public gatherings for thinking together, through drawings and mappings and storytelling, now lives downtown, ready to sail again.
And most excitingly, a call has just gone out, an open call for next generation of MOBILE STUDIO community engaged projects this spring 2016… we can’t wait to see whats next!
Check it out: http://downtown.richmond.edu/gallery/mobile-studio.html
Mobile Studio and Auburn University’s Master of Landscape Architecture Studio 2 are working with the City of Montgomery Public Art Commission to explore 14 sites across the city as opportunities for investments in creative placemaking and public art. These sites, situated in the downtown core and adjacent historic neighborhoods of Centennial Hill to the East and Five Points to the West become catalysts, not only for neighborhood revitalization, but a new network of civic infrastructure.
Please join us next Saturday at Montgomery’s Court Square to silkscreen the first set of wishes posters for Rosa Parks’ 100th Birthday. More than 2000 wishes for the future of the city inspired by Ms. Parks’ life work have poured in from school children across the city and around the world. The Mobile Studio has worked with Ambassadors of the Rosa Parks Museum, Jerry Johnson and his graphic design students at Troy University and Landscape Architecture students from Auburn University to translate these wishes into visual messages that will be returned to schools and neighborhoods across the city and presented to district representatives on the evening of Rosa Parks’ Birthday Gala.
The day long event will bring the art of silkscreening and the populist tradition of the broadside print to the center of the city, free and fun for all. Bring the family, bring the students, citizens one and all and spend the day in this intriguing urban terrain making art, music, food together to re-new our collective commitment to justice, to equal access to the civic infrastructures and civic health of the the city.
The photograph above is from a Mobile Studio silk screen event last spring at Tuskegee’s Courthouse Square with Mark Wilson’s team of outstanding students from across Macon County and Auburn’s Community and Civic Engagement Program. Next Saturday promises the beautiful handmade Rose Paper, the silky scarlet studio fabric roof and much more. Hope to see you there!
WE INVITE ARTISTS AROUND THE WORLD TO SUBMIT 11×17 POSTERS THAT EXPRESS THEIR WISH FOR CHANGE INSPIRED BY THE LIFE WORKS OF ROSA PARKS ON THE OCCASION OF HER 100TH BIRTHDAY. THE SERIES, ALONG WITH 100 LOCAL MONTGOMERY VOICES WILL BECOME PART OF A TRAVELING EXHIBITION DREAMED BY THE ROSA PARKS MUSEUM IN MONTGOMERY ALABAMA AND THE MOBILE STUDIO.