We aren't far past the first week of the year but already it feels like some of the shine is off of 2020. I’ve decided it’s not too late to look back at 2019 and reflect on what happened and where I want to go with Mountain Girl Media in this relatively new year.
My initial response to this question was a panicked - wait a minute, what did I do? I tried making a list of projects but that felt tired and uninspired. So I turned to one of my favorite creative tools- colored markers and brainstorming . And voila. A web of some of my favorite projects from 2019.
In fact it was a year filled with stories and art. Although traditional video production took a back seat to other ways of working with images and stories, I realize that it’s all fueled by my unshakeable belief in the power of storytelling.
Here are some highlights.
Video Design and Artist Residency with Asheville Creative Arts. I got the chance to work once again with Abby Felder of Asheville Creative Arts creating the video design for The Warp and The Weft. Blending puppetry,
video, archival photographs, music, and storytelling, this original production explores the history of child labor, the evolving concept of childhood and the power that comes from controlling one’s own narrative.
In addition to video design I worked with middle and high school youth from the community groups VAMOS and MANOS, to co- facilitate a storytelling workshop with Edwin Salas Acosta where youth told their own stories These stories about self identity were incorporated into the the show.
As has been true for many years now, much of my free time has been spent working on Blanket Town, the documentary film I am making about Swannanoa and the Beacon Blanket Mill. In 2019 I was invited to present excerpts of the film at the Frank and Jane Garboe folklife center and collaborate with the Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center on it’s exhibit about the Beacon blanket mill and its impact on the Swannanoa Valley. A sequence from the film depicting the devastating fire and residents responses to it, was featured in the exhibit.
I also gave a presentation bout the migration of the textile industry to the south. to a standing room only crowd at the museum's inaugural History Cafe in April.
But one of my favorite projects was working on a Digital Storytelling project with Norma Duran Brown, Mujer a Mujere, MANOS and VAMOS and Middle and High school youth at Erwin school district. Working after school for 2 months, the youth wrote, shot and edited personal digital stories on their laptops and phones. Although the youth's digital stories. centered on loss, change and resilience, are private, this short video (made on my phone) explains the project's process and outcomes.