Graduate Exchange Program

2015-16 Projects

Tales of Struggle, Healing, and Home: Women and Material Narratives
Felice Amato (Art)
Community Partner: YWCA of Madison

Amato is working with women in the YWCA’s housing program who are at a place of disempowerment, transition, struggle, marginalization and/or healing in their lives. Her role is to provide them multiple opportunities to explore the fabrication of puppets or other figures and to offer them the chance to devise narratives. Amato shares art historical and contemporary examples of women’s puppets and dolls. The materials themselves and their tactility--as well as the creativity and ingenuity involved in making objects--spur community-building through conversation, encouragement and artistic risk-taking. These objects could serve as characters in healing stories or parts of broader narratives but they may also be simply a chance to play. The group of women decides the direction they wish to take and Amato facilitates their goals.

Young Voices: Sharing the Ojibwe Winter Games
Colin Connors (Scandinavian Studies; Comparative Literature and Folklore)
Community Partner: ENVISION Alternative Education Program; Madison Metropolitan School District

This project partners with ENVISION, an alternative education program at the Lac du Flambeau Public School, to teach students to produce digital narratives. The goal is to invite students to reflect on and share their experiences of the Ojibwe Winter Games, a week-long celebration of traditional games that were once repressed but now are making an important comeback. A website with these narratives will serve as a capstone to the project, but we also hope to bring the Games to Madison schools for a day so that the ENVISION students can share the Games first hand with Madison students.

Cultivating Voices and Vegetables
Andy Davey (Geography)
Community Partner: Brentwood Gardens for Empowerment; Dane County UW-Extension

The Brentwood neighborhood Madison is undergoing complex changes in terms of race and class. Through a local organization, Gardens for Empowerment, a group of African-American teens is working to improve Brentwood by building gardens, collecting stories, and much more. This project is designed to help facilitate place-based storytelling, build understanding of the neighborhood’s past, present, and future, and establish meaningful and respectful multi-generational relationships between long-time residents and neighborhood newcomers.

Building Community Through Language: An Oral History of Madison's Dual Language Immersion Program
Sergio Gonzalez (History)
Community Partner: Madison La Follette High School; Madison Metropolitan School District

“Building Community Through Language: An Oral History of Madison’s Dual Language Immersion Program” is an oral history project that explores the importance of language in identity and community formation among students and their families. Students at La Follette High School identified as members of Madison’s first dual language immersion cohort will receive training in oral history methodologies and conduct interviews among their families and community members, recording the history of the city’s dual language immersion community. These oral histories will then be presented and preserved as a historical repository of one of Madison’s most recently successful community-led educational initiatives.

Here I Am: A Mixed Media Portrait Workshop
Spring Greeney (History) and Elizabeth Scheer (English)
Community Partner: Oakhill Correctional Institution

“Here I Am: A Mixed Media Portrait Workshop” is a semester-long portrait class held at Oakhill Correctional Institution. In this art course, participants will paint, draw, sculpt and collage weekly portraits of themselves that will be displayed at the Madison Public Library in March 2016. We hope that these images will serve as alternatives to the mug shot, an image that too often defines an incarcerated individual, both visually and politically. 

Latin@ Youth Participatory Action Research
Julissa Ventura (Educational Policy Studies)
Community Partner: Centro Hispano

This project, [Re]Generación, is a youth research collective of Latin@ youth to explore their identities, schooling experiences, and relevant issues through participatory action research methods. Four youth, formerly of ExpresARTE, will help in the planning and facilitation of activities, particularly during the first semester when youth begin to explore their own stories and decide what issues they’d like to explore further. Finally, youth will learn about different research methods and decide what tool(s) to use to collect their findings amongst each other or in the community and then collectively decide on ways to share their findings with other youth, the community, and other relevant audiences.