Monday, March 26, 2012

American Values Project [Update]

A lot has happened with the American Values Project since my last update. We received a generous grant from Rhodes College's Center for Outreach and Development of the Arts (CODA) to buy some new equipment, revamp our website and, most importantly, stage a physical exhibit of the project here in Memphis. CODA has been an invaluable supporter of the American Values Project so far and we're very lucky to have their support. (The image to your left is from the CODA event "Exhibition Momentum" which was held last Fall and during which AVP was given space to photograph.) In addition to the AVP project assistant, Colin Fleck ('12), and the CODA assistant, Emaily Main ('12), we've also added two more volunteers to the AVP Team, Andrea Tedesco ('15) and Timothy Garton ('14), both of whom have been motivated, hardworking and much-appreciated additions. Just this past weekend, the AVP team scattered out with their cameras, pens and paper during the ArtsMemphis Pop-Up ArtsFest at the Hollywood Community Center. (Some photos from that outing below.) It was a beautiful spring day and a great opportunity to spread the word about our Project and take in a lot of new photos. In the coming weeks, AVP is scheduled to be featured on the Rhodes College website, which we hope will provide another "bump" in interest and contributions. We were also recently featured on Kerry Crawford's I Love Memphis blog, and she contributed her own photo to the Project. Word-of-mouth has been the AVP's best friend so far, though, and I encourage you (if you haven't already) to visit the website, take part by contributing a photo, "like" the AVP Facebook page and tell everyone you know to do the same!

Photos from the ArtsMemphis Pop-Up ArtsFest at Hollywood Community Center:

The most exciting (and expensive) work we're engaged in right now is planning and executing our exhibition, which we hope will happen during the last week of April. (Only a month away!) Choosing among the hundreds of photos to feature seemed like it would be the biggest challenge we would face, until we began trying to find a location and date to stage the exhibit. The good news is that Memphis is absolutely bursting at the seams with interesting art projects. The bad news is all that creative activity makes it difficult to squeeze oneself into a local gallery's time and space. Still, I'm excited about the exhibition, which will involve multimedia and interactive elements in addition to the best of the photos in our collection. Fun for the whole family!

As I've mentioned here on the blog before, our long-term goal is to make the American Values Project a "traveling" exhibit next Fall during the Presidential election season. Election seasons are, after all, the times when talk about "American values" is at its peak. What we've always hoped that this project could do is motivate people to stop and think about what that phrase means. And, hopefully, to actually see what it means.

One last thing: if you're a Rhodes student and are interested in the American Values Project, it looks like I will have a Fellowship position available for the 2012-13 academic year. Stop by and speak to me about how to apply.


Marginamia said...

Yes! Congratulations, Leigh. I'm so happy to see this thriving!

MSdos5602 said...

This is an excellent idea! I'm glad to see so many people participating, and hope that more continue to do so.