ACHF Cultural Heritage
Barriers to participation in high quality arts activities will be identified and addressed.Our intended outcomes of the Star Stories project are to: Remove barriers for 25 youth from an underserved community to study and produce digital stories; Increase sense of cultural belonging and connection to the arts among 25 youth; Create opportunities for 75 Minnesotans from underserved communities to appreciate the arts through a public showcase of original digital stories. To measure them we will complete the following activities: Dakota Wicohan Arts Coordinator will maintain program records of all arts activities; The 20 middle school youth will share what they’ve learned in focus groups and circles led by Dakota Wicohan staff and the consulting artists; The 5-10 high school apprentices will write reflections of their experiences for publication in our newsletter; The families and audience members will assess their experience in the guest book at each public showcase. The assessment team will monitor the arts residencies. Our participants play the most important role in the evaluation. We are using indigenous evaluation methods to identify the sense of belonging and our new youth leadership project for middle school youth. Results will be used to improve our future arts programing at Dakota Wicohan. We intend to permanently incorporate the arts into our youth programs and are committed to continue nurturing and supporting our Dakota artists and their work in our Native community. We also hope that our high school apprentices continue to develop their interest in the arts for sustainability in revitalizing the arts in our community. We hope to learn how connecting rural Native youth to contemporary art forms sparks an ongoing interest in the arts. We hope to learn how to model to families ways to support their youth’s interest in the arts. We also hope our organization better learns how to operate arts activities and to support Dakota artists.
The Dakota Star Stories Project met its three intended outcomes, engaging slightly fewer youth apprentices than projected, but reaching many more audience members through more PR channels than projected. It was interesting to see the development of skill between the first and the second videos made by the youth. We are pleased with their growth and confidence as artists. At least half of the participants expressed interest in continuing the art form. The summer camp video enhanced a sense of belonging and cohesion among the group and the participants' connection to Dakota traditions, and the land. More than 100 people watched the two youth videos at the Dakota Wicohan Annual Event held at Jackpot Junction on Lower Sioux on October 17, 2014. This was an unprecedented opportunity for the community to come together and access and appreciate our rich Dakota arts heritage.
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