Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What We're Doing Today

-from the Curator

We've been working so hard lately we've forgotten to tell you what we're up to!  Besides the usual visitor tours, grant writing, and painting as we finish the new exhibit, there's plenty happening behind the scenes.

Lucas and Davis Hitch are learning to apply stucco and finishing off the Ocotillo Observatory . . . 
It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it . . .
And who doesn't want to work outside in the summer. In Ocotillo.It's barely 100 with cloud cover

Marcie is learning to edit videos for our Cal Humanities Community Stories grant: The Kumeyaay Nation: Stories of Change 

Learning a new skill: video editing

We've accessioned a new collection and you know what that means- curation continues!  Are you interested in learning how to curate and seeing some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making the museum run? Talk to us about volunteering!  

Curation continues!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Chaos Theroy

Student: I was just listening to a TED talk about time and how the universe starts orderly and then entropy sets in. It said when you watch something in reverse you can immediately tell something is wrong, because things are becoming more organized. Entropy is the natural state of things

Socrates: The key tenant to Western Culture is organization; a constant focus on creating categorization and organization. Trying to control and annotate the natural world is unnatural. Native American Culture is exactly opposite; trying to live in the natural world. If living in the natural world is chaos, then the history of the Western World is about trying to unsuccessfully control chaos. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Artist-In-Residence Project: Jacumba Mosaic Tables

-from the Curator

This week our Artist-in-Residence Lucas Hitch finished a set of 6 picnic table mosaics in Jacumba.  The project was an original design submitted for a $5,000 Community Enhancement Grant funded by the San Diego County Supervisors for the Jacumba-Boulevard Revitalization Alliance.     
Matching finished tiles to designs before instal
Making snakes from scratch 
Mock up of finished table with 'sandy' mosaic background
Lucas's design concept called for all 6 picnic table tops to be covered with a carefully designed mosaic.  Separately, each table will stand alone as art, but taken together they will form one image of three snakes.  "The snakes are not necessarily meant to be photographed and pieced together by the public" Lucas says.  "The art is experienced by looking at the image and seeking out the various tables.  More like a scavenger hunt." 
Original Concept Art of tables & finished tables- Lucas Hitch

Jacumba students sign the finished tiles
Each snake tile was made by museum staff with the help of students in the Jacumba After School program. The junior high students learned all the steps of making mosaic tiles from kneading clay to painting tiles, and participating students wrote their names on tiles that will be included in the tables. "Our names are going to be there forever" one student said "I can't wait to show everyone."
 "They can bring their parents and their friends here and show off their work" said Lucas. "It gives the students and, through them, the community a real sense of ownership in the project.  The impact of this project will last for years to come." 
Jacumba students learn to set tiles on a picnic table

Students from the Jacumba After School program learned about the art of ceramics, the importance of designing and planning ahead of time when building a mosaic, and enjoyed breaking up ceramic tiles that have become the sandy background for the snakes. They even got to learn how to apply grout and lay tiles.  

Lucas Hitch, IVDM Artist-in-Residence
Our Artist-in-Residence program provides outlets and programs directed by local artists for local artists, and has been incredibly successful since its inception in 2012.  The Museum has twice won a Sidney Stern Memorial Trust Grant to support this program and our Director, Neal Hitch presented on the program at the American Alliance of Museum's annual national convention this spring. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ceramics preview Friendraiser

-from the Curator

Tonight we had our last FriendRaiser of our 2014-2015 fiscal year.  With the amount raised tonight we have raised the projected $10,000 from ten FriendRaisers that was our goal for the NEH Challenge grant this year.  Congratulations to our Board Members for all their hard work!

This FriendRaiser focused on ceramics and premiered a short video we have been editing for our permanent exhibit.  A grant from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts allowed us to go through raw footage from the award winning, Emmy nominated documentary First People-Kumeyaay and focus on the footage on ceramics.  Frank Salazar, our Cultural Collections Project Manager edited together from this footage a video of renowned Kumeyaay ceramics artist Teresa Castro going through the steps of making a pot.  A grant from the National Environmental Education Foundation allowed Frank to work with several different Kumeyaay culture bearers and language experts to add Kumeyaay words to the video.  Videos and technology are some of the best ways to reach the younger generations and gain their interest, and have proven successful in other situations.  The hope is that seeing the language embedded in a situation will support "situational fluency" for language learning.

Attendees ate food prepared in ceramic pots, saw both newly made and older ollas that will be in our permanent exhibit, and commented on the video.  Frank is now planning on going back for some more editing to incorporate this great feedback.  We're looking forward to having the final version in our ceramics visible storage exhibit by this fall. Thanks to Conveyor Group for their help in turning these clips into a lovely, smoothly transitioning video.

 Thank you to everyone who attended this and any of the other FriendRaisers this year - you are helping us to drive this museum forward to success!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Congratulations to Frank!

-from the Curator

We'd like to congratulate our Cultural Collections Manager, Frank Salazar III (a resident of Boulevard, CA from the Campo Band of the Kumeyaay Nation for completing a four month training course entitled "Leadership Training for Enterprenerial/ Small Business/Economic Development" conducted by the California Indian Manpower Consortium, Inc. (CIMC).  During the training period, Frank developed a business plan for his emerging business, Condor Bad Creations Nature Themed Apparel.  We look forward to carrying his business' creations in the Museum's gift shop when they are available.

Recipients of this unique training opportunity were selected through a
competitive application process. Trainees received extensive training
from a select group of individuals chosen for their outstanding skills, accomplishments
and expertise in their respective fields and for their contributions to Native entrepreneurship.
The culturally-relevant curriculum included development of analytical skills (e.g.,
feasibility/market analysis, financial projections) and persuasive writing and presentation skills.
Students learned to develop a business plan and received information on resources to start and
grow businesses. Also, the group benefited from the experiences of several successful Native entrepreneurs.

This training program was made possible by funding provided by the U.S. Department of Labor
as part of CIMC's Workforce Development Program and through a donation provided by the
Cahuilla Economic Development Corporation.

More than 350 Native American individuals have completed this Native entrepreneur training
program during the past fifteen years. Through this training program, CIMC, a Native non-profit
organization operating in California since 1978, makes every effort to provide leadership training
to build healthy Native communities by developing the skills of Native entrepreneurs to be profitable
and sustainable in the larger context of Native culture and sovereignty.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Wine, Music, and Museums

-from the Curator

Last night our Board held a successful Wine Tasting FriendRaiser at the El Centro Elks Lodge. Over 75 people came out to support the Museum, and the IVPress wrote a lovely article in today's paper. IVDM Society Board President Chuck Fisher talked about the phases of design and development of our new permanent exhibit- with lots of pictures! Cultural Collections Program Manager Frank Salazar gave a presentation on three of the grants he is currently running: Cal Humanities Community Stories, Association for California Traditional Arts, and the National Environmental Educational Foundation.  These grants focus on the importance of videos and oral history in the new exhibit, and use raw footage from the award-winning, Emmy-nominated First People Kumeyaay documentary.

The idea behind our FriendRaisers is that Museum Members and invited guests learn more about some of our programs and experience something a little different. The money raised at these events goes to the Museum's Endowment Fund to support staffing and operations.  The IVDM won a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that will match any money we raise for the Endowment 3:1 through 2019.  For this grant we are committed to holding 10 FriendRaisers during the fiscal year and raising $10,000 through them- as well as additional monies from other sources.  The Wine Tasting was our second-to-last FriendRaiser for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Before this event we had raised a total of $9,000 towards our $10,000 FriendRaiser goal. While the donations from last night's FriendRaiser haven't been fully totaled yet, we are hopeful that between ticket sales, a silent auction, and donations from guests, we will have raised around an additional $2,000.   

Thanks to BevMo! and the Elks Lodge #1325 for supporting our event!

National Environmental Education Foundation

Monday, May 4, 2015

Jacumba Blues Festival

-from the Curator

Saturday, May 2 we took our coiled clay booth up to Jacumba for this year's Jazz & Blues Festival.  A great group of kids joined us to learn how to make clay bowls- all first timers to our program.  About 125 people came out for great music and great food.  We saw old friends, met new ones, and everyone had a great time!
Thanks for inviting us Jacumba Arts Council!

Learning to make pots

History on the Go! in Jacumba