Cotton & Collards: Unearthing Stories of Home Through Kitchens and Closets
What is the relationship between what we eat, what we wear and our earth? How has that relationship evolved over time? And how can art help us tell the story of this relationship and its evolution?
In the South, cotton and collard greens evoke stories across generations from residents and immigrants, tourists and travelers, pasts and presents. These two crops-one for food, the other for clothing-lead us back through history, geography, and sociology as readily as they frame our present-day rituals, holidays and habits.
Since February 2015, UNC Charlotte theater professor Beth Murray and teachers from six area schools have worked together to explore these questions. Through an innovative, collaborative arts and oral history project titled Cotton & Collards: Unearthing Stories of Home Through Kitchens and Closets, students have learned about and considered connections between food, clothing and home, and what that means to us as individuals.
Levine Museum’s education staff has supported the project by providing professional development for the teachers, access to Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers and other Museum resources, and now, by exhibiting the students’ work. Student rtwork and oral histories are on view in the cbalcony galleries now through November 5, 2016.
The Cotton & Collards Project is made possible through a UNC Charlotte Family Research Grant, a collaboration with Levine Museum of the New South and endorsement from the International Drama Education Association’s Land & Home Initiative.