¡NUEVOlution! The Team Behind the Exhibit - Kamille Bostick
On September 27, 2015, ¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South officially opens to the public! Our most ambitious project to date and unlike any exhibit we've ever produced, ¡NUEVOlution! explores the surprising ways Latinos are shaping the South and the South is shaping Latinos.
Extensive research. Insightful videos. Thought-provoking interactives. Engaging art. Innovative programs. All made possible by a group of passionate and talented museum professionals. Over the next several weeks we're excited to introduce you to them and share behind-the-scenes stories about the "making of"¡NUEVOlution! You'll learn about each person’s role, what each has learned and what each hopes you will experience. If you missed our Q&A with Dr. Tom you can read it here.
Next up: Kamille Bostick, VP of Education.
As VP of Education, what role do you play in the exhibit development process?
Educators work to make sure the exhibit works for the public. As exhibits get developed our charge really is to think about how will visitors best learn from the exhibit and how can we create "teachable moments" in the exhibit as well as embed visitor takeaways from it. As VP of Education, I work closely with the VP of Exhibits to craft an experience that speaks to a variety of learners and learning styles. My team and I might work with everything from the questions on the interactive activities in the exhibit, to the wording of some of the panels, to creating the gallery guide that helps visitors make meaning/find their way through the exhibit.
From the perspective of programming, how do you tell a story about a historical change in the making?
Because the present, the past, and the future are all strung along the same thread, as we work to create public programs, we have to pay attention to a variety of perspectives. It's all about being intentional and inclusive. We have to tap in to the community for its lived experience, making sure not to privilege one story over another because we don’t know where the arc of history will ultimately lead us. As future-oriented as we have to be, we also have to provide context for how we've gotten to this point. We have to approach programming (films, panels, and events) as opportunities to allow this community a chance to explore the everyday markers of change we're all experiencing in real time. It's tough work, exciting work but it keeps programming relevant and responsive.
How does interacting with exhibits enhance visitor education?
Everyone learns differently but if we go with the old adage, "experience is the best teacher" then it makes it easier to understand how an interactive activity can help facilitate learning. In ¡NUEVOlution!, we use everything from having visitors design their own plate, complete with dishes from around this country and Latin America to talk about cultures coming together, to a video story kiosk that captures their stories so we can feature them later in the exhibit. There’s also a chance to take part in polls, to leave comments on our walls and even take a selfie. The more we can involve the visitor in a learning experience the more connected they are to the content and the better we’re able to reflect the perspectives of the community. The interactives create a dynamic experience much more than just having a gallery of facts or pictures.
What is the “front porch” project? And what can the community expect?
Thanks to a gift from Civic By Design (huge high-five to Tom Low), the Museum received two 6 foot by 8 foot portable porches that we will use for public programming. The porches will be used as a pop up exhibit that we’ll be taking to area schools and festivals to spark conversations about living in the Nuevo South. Look for us in the spring, when we’ll be out in the community hosting pop up conversations about identity, cultural exchanges, etc.
What types of programming can Museum supporters expect surrounding ¡NUEVOlution!?
We have some great films and speakers already lined up. Professors, artists, activists, business leaders, students will join us throughout the year to cover topics ranging from cultural mashups, policy issues, community-building, identity and change. To start, we’ll be hosting a Night of ¡NUEVOlution! dance party on September 25th. It’s a preview party (cost is only $10) featuring the band Orquesta Mayor and a bachata and salsa set from DJ Skip Lopes. On the 27th, we’ll be opening the exhibit to the public during a free Community Day that will include performances, crafts and fun. It’s going to be really exciting and a true nuevo dia (new day) for thinking about what it means to be living in the New South.
About Kamille Bostick:
As Vice President of Education at Levine Museum, Kamille Bostick facilitates and designs educational and public programming including arcs of dialogue and curriculum that foster civic engagement and connections between the past and contemporary issues. A former high school teacher, Kamille holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Georgia where she helped design curriculum to teach the Civil Rights Movement to grades 8-12. Prior to that, she worked four years as a newspaper reporter at The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle.
Be sure to check back each week for new stories and insights on ¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South.