Patti McGill Peterson - Weaving the Streets/People's History Archive Grant
Students accepted to off-campus study programs have the opportunity to apply for a Patti McGill Peterson grant through Weaving the Streets & People’s History Archive, an ongoing collaboration between the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery and Weave News. This project focuses on how ordinary people use public space. Accepted students will receive funds in exchange for researching, writing, and publishing several short articles related to their abroad coursework and interests for Weave News, keeping in mind the general purpose of the project, and to collect several artifacts for the People’s History Archive.
In literary theory and cultural studies, “texts” are any sort of phenomena that signify meaning, such as written publications, visual works of art, music, videos, and oral interviews, as well as clothing styles, architectural design, community-based murals, solidarity gatherings, etc.
Texts tell stories. It’s up to contributors to figure out what those stories are. One of the goals of the Weaving the Streets & People’s History Archive (WSPHA) project is to identify the texts that you think are important and tell the stories surrounding those texts. That’s the Weaving the Streets component of our project, the contextualization.
WSPHA contributors write 3-5 articles for Weave News while off-campus, following the instructions provided in the project handbook.
The People’s History Archive also addresses the use of public space but focuses on physical artifacts. It is a varied repository of selected artifacts (such as stickers, flyers, and other ephemera) that we gather, scan, catalogue, and add to the online and physical archive to be shared with others.
WSPHA contributors gather and submit 3-5 physical artifacts representing street culture in their specific location and provide contextual information surrounding them. Each contributor’s materials are published in the form of a mini-exhibition in the online archive.
Contributors are required to be in regular contact with the project directors (John Collins and Catherine Tedford) and Contributing Editor (Cassandra Kunert) while in the field, solicit advice whenever necessary, and respond promptly to WSPHA-related correspondence.
Contributors are required to read carefully all of the training materials contained in the provided handbook, and strive to produce work whose quality meets the standards of the larger project.
Contributors should also read the articles posted by other WSPHA participants (past and present). They should also make an effort to share WSPHA content with friends and family via social media and other channels in order to help increase the project’s audience.
On program completion, students who have received funding will be required to give an on-campus presentation during their first semester back on campus. Depending on the time of year, the presentation might take place during Family Weekend, the Festival of Scholarship and Creativity, or other such events. Grant recipients will also be expected to send a thank you message to Patti McGill Peterson, the donor whose funds made this opportunity possible.
Students selected for the project may also have the opportunity to participate in the recruitment and training of future participants.
Students and young alumni who are selected to contribute to the WSPHA project cohort receive $50 per Weaving the Streets article and $250 for one online exhibit of 3-5 items for the People’s History Archive. Typically the contributor will paid half the total amount upon acceptance to the project and the remaining half when the work is completed.
The application process is simple, but before submitting your application, make sure you do some initial brainstorming and research about the place where you will be located. What do you already know about some of the social, political, and cultural issues that might be shaping street culture in that place? Where might you focus your attention while serving as a Street Team member? The more you can show what you already know, the stronger your application will be.
Your application will be submitted on Studio Abroad. You will be asked to share general biographical information including your name, class year, major(s), minor(s), and the name of your off-campus study program. Additionally, you will need to submit a copy of your academic transcript (an unofficial copy will work). Please also respond to the following questions (1,000 words max):
- Describe briefly any experience you have living or traveling outside of your own cultural context.
- Have you ever done any kind of field research? If so, briefly describe it.
- Language skills are not required, but do you have skills needed to interact with or have conversations with people living in the area where you will be studying?
- Describe your level of familiarity and experience with digital photography, digital video, and citizen journalism.
- What are some of the most important social, political, and cultural issues facing people in the society where you will be studying?
- Describe briefly what you know about the local community that you, as a citizen journalist and researcher, might be confronted with during field work. What opportunities do you envision? What restrictions (if any - legal and otherwise) do you anticipate in the media/research environment where you will be working?