2016 Global Folklorist Challenge: Connecting Your Community to the World
By Betty J. Belanus, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
I remember the first time I joined a fellow graduate student at the Indiana University Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology to make a video on a tradition bearer. It was early spring, and we were visiting a Southern Indiana maple syrup maker, shooting in what is now an antiquated video format, through the steam coming off the fragrant boiling sap. It was thrilling to capture the action and the wise words of the syrup maker on video, and then to edit the footage into a short story about this old, but still very much alive, tradition.
Nowadays, young students shoot and edit their own videos, of a much superior quality, with smart phones. But the excitement of capturing the words and actions of a living tradition is still as great. Through the 3rd annual Global Folklorist Challenge, students aged 8 – 18 can work individually or in a group to produce a short video, slide set or podcast about a tradition bearer in their community and share it with the world. The short media products are judged, and prizes are offered. All of the entries, whether they are prize winners or not, are placed on a growing interactive map of the world, including, to date, media pieces from the U.S., China, Italy, Turkey, Hungary, Ukraine, Taiwan, India, Canada, and Poland featuring musicians, craftspeople, cooks, and even the makers of low rider cars.
The Challenge includes an extensive educator resource pack to help teachers and mentors guide students through the process. Students and their mentors are invited to send in questions and comments along the way, and new “tips and tricks” are added during the period leading up to the due date of November 30, 2016.
Check out the Challenge today, and help encourage students to participate! The excitement of learning something new about their community, and seeing their work included in an international platform, can be theirs in the near future.
Teacher Resource Pack: http://challenges.epals.com/folklife2016/the-challenge/standards/full-standards/