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|Bicycle stunt event at the Kentucky Derby Festival, detail from poster. Photo
by Marvin Young, 1999.
Explore Your Community: A Community Heritage Poster for the Classroom
Choose a Topic, any Topic -- Chances are It Has Links To Folklife
or Cultural Heritage
Explore Your Community Poster Panel Five
Follow an interest of yours or something you are curious about—skateboarding,
gardening, your school's track team, pets, biking, fishing, cars,
getting old or being young, e-mail hoaxes, hair styles, pizza.
People like to talk about themselves and their life experiences.
They enjoy telling stories about people they have known and activities,
adventures, and experiences they have had. Pick a topic and explore
its connections with folklife and cultural heritage in your community.
What You Can Do
The Good Old Days:
Research and write about an event in the history of your community
or some special quality of your neighborhood, something that it
is known for. Interview parents, neighbors, and seniors. Check
old newspapers, memoirs, and historic records, maps, and photographs.
Create a time-line using what you have gathered to show how the
community has changed since the "Good Old Days." Were the "old
days" really so "good"? Prepare an exhibit in your school or local
library or develop a multi-media presentation or Web site using
materials you have gathered.
The Immigrant Experience:
From the beginning, our nation has been a meeting ground for different
cultures. Today, American culture is made up of many cultural groups.
Stories of immigration, or migrant experiences, contribute to a
sense of belonging for a group. Collect family stories about moving
to a new home or interview a recent immigrant in your community
and learn about his or her culture and experiences. Read about
historic events at the time of migration and write a history of
this culture and its role in your community. Describe and document
a local ethnic community festival or celebration using still and
video photography and audio recording.
Publish a Cookbook:
Folklorists call the cooking traditions of a group or family "foodways." Collect
traditional recipes from people in your community or from your
family, perhaps focusing on one kind of food or the food of a specific
cultural group. Interview people about how they learned recipes
and the role that these traditional foods play in their lives and
heritage. Study the production of a food or crop that is special
to your community or celebrated at a local festival. Publish a
cookbook, using quotes from people you have interviewed, historical
details about the importance of the dishes, and photographs and