To finish off this project, my partner – Ivana Vidal – and I put on a thorough 30 minute presentation to the New Mexico History Museum staff and the Veterans Services in Santa Fe New Mexico. We ran through what the project meant to us as a whole, the process that we went through, and we had a little story to tell about each of the veterans. We talked about the good, the bad, the technical difficulties we had and how we have improved since then.
The presentation was very well received and appreciated. We got lots of great comments, feedback, and some really great questions. One of the things that I thought was so great was that our audience mentioned that we should take this presentation on the road, and share this passion of history and video story telling to the younger crowds (such as high schoolers). They really think we could do some great things with this.
What was really neat was when Secretary Fox (The head of the Veterans Services) presented Ivana and I both with a military challenge coin. He put the coin in his hand, and shook our hands giving us the coin. When he did so, he said “I don’t know how old you are, but if you are old enough to drink, whenever you come to Santa Fe, and we meet up…if you don’t have your coin with you, you’re buying me a drink.” I really got a kick out of that, really awesome guy.
Here are both sides of the coin!
I would also like to mention that we received a lovely e-mail from the marketing manager at the museum about our presentation/project. Check out the e-mail!
“I’d like to gush about two Highlands students, Jacob Erickson and Ivana Vidal, who worked with our curator, Meredith Davidson, on a project this summer. They gave a presentation about their results to our staff this week, and deeply impressed us. The work they accomplished with Meredith on capturing video oral histories of 18 World War II veterans around the state was solid and stellar. I imagine the patience and diplomacy they had to exercise in working with people whose memories weren’t always the best and in situations that weren’t always the best. In their presentation, they acknowledged early weaknesses and noted improvements in their technical skills. They were poised and smart and told evocative stories of what the work meant to them personally. We strongly encouraged them to take their act to other groups—especially young people—to share that passion even wider.
Most important is the archive of material they’re leaving us with. The time for capturing these stories is fleeting. I like to imagine a future grandchild or great-grandchild coming to our museum to hear the stories of their relative. What a terrific gift.
Thanks for all you’ve done to help prepare these young people and for building the Media Arts program into such a standout of NMHU.”
Overall, I really loved working on the project and talking to all of these amazing people. I have secured another project starting up in October, where I will be doing this exact same thing, but with Cold War veterans. The project will be at the Los Alamos history museum. Be sure to check out my next blog that will be following that project!! Thank you guys for all of the support as well!!!!