Saturday, July 31, 2010

Opening Night!

Last night the 2010 IWWL exhibit officially opened to the public.  The National Building Museum is open open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Come see the results of all our hard work!  Below are some pictures from the big night-

Congratulations Everyone!

Friday, July 30, 2010

I love my job!

I title this "I love my job," because no other place would I be helping to paper mache a giant crab one day and painting a mural the next. But it's not all arts and crafts. Yesterday I was on my hands and knees scrubbing paint off the gallery floor and sweeping- happily of course! :) But I've never had a job of which my responsibilities include everything from curriculum writing, teaching, mentoring, and getting my hands dirty. Thank you NBM!

The fourth week of IWWL is probably the most hectic of the program, but it's the most exciting as it's the week of the big reveal. Tonight we'll finally see all of the students' creative ideas and hard work make the gallery space come alive. I look forward to spending this evening with the IWWL participants, staff, volunteers, and members of the NBM community. I apologize for the lack of photos in this post, but I don't want to give too much away- you'll have to come see it for yourself!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pulling Together the Exhibit

Today the IWWL students continued to work on their projects for the exhibit.  The exhibit opens this Friday, July 30th, at 6:00!

When reflecting on today James, from the Petworth group, wrote,
"Today I had a great experience.  I learned more about painting and cutting.  I also learned more about making flowers.  All I have to say is that it was a constructive day."

Levi wrote,
"What I like about IWWL is working on the exhibit and making the paper mache crab for the wall. It is super fun because I’m working with friends and doing my favorite thing which is tearing up paper and letting out my anger on the paper. I don’t know why I need to be angry because IWWL is funnn!!!!!!!!"

Thanks for all your had work everyone!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Josh: Reflections on IWWL From A Volunteer

Working with the IWWL this summer has been a very rewarding experience.  I have enjoyed making new friends and working as a team with the other leaders and students.  I was very unsure what to except as a volunteer, but my experience has far exceeded anything I could have expected.  IWWL is an amazing program, unlike anything I have expected.  I am sad that our time together is almost over, but I am so anxious to see the fruit of all the students hard work! I can't wait for the IWWL exhibit opening on Friday July 30th, at 6:00!

Southwest Gets Creative

Southwest worked hard today to pull together our exhibit.  They put in a ton of effort, so we wanted to share some of the great projects they completed today. 

Denae created a beautiful model of Southwest Rowhouses.  Other group members helped her throughout the day.  Here they are hard at work: 

Denae and Sherve'

Denae works away

                                                                        All finished!

Rachel and London worked on the map with our volunteer Josh:

Imani: Reactions from the Jurors

Today the panel suggested captioning our pictures.  The advice they gave us will help people understand our pictures and why they are there.  They liked what we had so they really didn't suggest that we change anything. 

Cierra: Juror Feedback

I am in group Trinidad.  The panelists told us that we did a good job but they also gave us a few suggestions.  They said that we should make sure that our exhibit is clear to the viewers.  So if there are photos grouped in any kind of way the viewer will notice that.  The jurors also wanted us to makes  sure that our title fit in or will describe the exhibit.  The panelist giving us suggestions helped us go back and fix things that we didn't see before.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Denae: Finalizing Our Exhibit

Today I had fun.  SW Waterfront, Trinidad, and Petworth got to do hands on artwork and make different ideas.  I got to make a model of row houses.  My group members in Southwest Waterfront had lots of other great ideas.  We also talked about how we were going to design the exhibit to show the families from other places what we have done.  We also picked out pictures that were very strong for the exhibit.

Bryant: Exhibit Work Day

Today my Trinidad group members and I did various tasks that needed to be completed, in order to get our exhibit ideas finalized.  First, we made our final decisions on which photos we were going to include in our exhibit.  Our final photo selection process was very simple because we all had a good idea of what we wanted to show in our exhibit.  Next, we worked on giving our exhibit a title.  This task was also very simple because my group as a whole came together to decide on our title.  Finally, our group separated into small groups, where each group had a different task to work on.  My small group had to come up with the writing piece we each wanted to put in the exhibit.  This was the most difficult task of all because instead of doing it as a group, we had to complete it individually.  Today, we completed a lot of things that needed to be done in order to pull our exhibit together. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Leia: My thoughts on the Exhibit Design

After three weeks of site visits and helpful workshops, it's finally exhibit construction time!  In the Petworth group we noticed that many of our pictures were simply of things you would see as you took a walk through Petworth.  So why not have "a stroll through Petworth" as our theme?  We also noticed that there was a lot of construction, or "rebirth" in Petworth.  So we are trying to decide which one of these themes to use for our exhibit.  We are thinking about ways to make our exhibit eye catching, like using bright colors and catchy titles.  We also want to include interactive pieces in our exhibit, like maybe comment books where people could express their feelings on our exhibit and Petworth, or maybe even a little section where we give the people a picture and they have to construct that building or house out of legos.  We're thinking and planning hard, and I look forward to seeing what our final presentation will look like. 

Shervé and Brianna: Ideas for the Exhibit

"My ideas for the exhibit are to make a giant paper-mâché crab and to make pop art.  Hopefully these will be assets to our exhibit." - Shervé, Southwest Waterfront

"I want the Petworth exhibit to have a hands on part.  We can have a picture of a building in Petworth and have people build it with legos."         
 - Brianna Morgan, Petworth.

The Clock is Ticking...

...and there is not much time left. Even under the time contraints, I was very impressed with all of the ideas and work done today. In the Petworth group we were able to: make a final decision on our theme/title, decide on a final photo layout, make plans to incorporate a map of Petworth on the exhibit wall (and floor!), as well as begin work on our interactive piece. A great deal of work got accomplished, but that does not mean that there is any slowing down for the group. As we move forward, there will be more work done on writing captions/titles for each of the photos and determining their sizes, finishing up on the interactive work, and doing a writing piece for each team member for one of their photos in the show.

Next week will be the installation of all our hard work and preparation! I hope that everyone in Petworth is ready to have a hands-on experience with installing an exhibition. In my mind, it is aguably the most fun aspect of the process. There is nothing more amazing than seeing one of your concepts be put into form and made visible for others to see. Countdown til the 30th....(!)

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's Superhero Day!

Once a week we have a theme day.  Thursday's theme was Superhero Day!  The photos below show how creative the staff and students got with their costumes-

Superhero Students and Staff!

Cat Woman and Ninja

Garden Woman, J Tel. and Ninja

Superhero Staff

Human Alphabet!

Here at IWWL it isn't all work and no play. On Tuesday we played an icebreaker game called the human alphabet, where participants create letters with their bodies. Then we all came together to spell IWWL. Here are some photos showing the fun-

Sketch by Jasmine

Here is a beautiful sketch done by Jasmine, of the Petworth group:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Josh: Museum Visit and Exhibition Design

We went to two exhibits yesterday at the Smithsonian American History Museum.  One was about the Apollo Theatre, and the other was about the history of a house called "Within these Walls".  I liked the house exhibit much better.  It had A LOT more color than Apollo, and also had more interactive things. I  also noticed that Within these Walls had  a temperature that was just right.  It was not too cold or too hot, it was perfect.

I have several ideas for the Southwest Waterfront exhibit design.  The first thing is that I don't want the room to be too hot or cold.  I think it would be cool to incorporate a temperature (or fan) that makes you feel near the ocean.  We need LOTS of interactive things so its fun for kids and it's not just reading.  When we were in the exhibit "Drawing Towards Home"  a man and two boys came in.  The boys were about eight and ten.  While the dad was looking around, I noticed that the kids were playing and that they were obviously bored.  I don't want that to be the case with our exhibit.  I want kids five and up enjoying it and actually paying attention. 

Janelle: Exhibit Design

Today was day eight of IWWL. We didn't go on any site visits today. In the morning, we came up with ideas, titles, and themes for our exhibit. Later, a curator from the National Museum of African American History & Culture visited us and gave us tips for creating our exhibit. After lunch, we all went out to museums to see different types of exhibits. I have some ideas for the IWWL Petworth exhibit. It would be called "Petworth: Changing Community." There would be some pictures of construction, churches, gardens, and, well, all of the types of pictures that we took. But those are just my ideas and I'm sure there are others.

Team Trinidad - Writings from Day 9

"Diversity, historic, and community. Just three little words that mean a lot toTrinidad. Whether it's through the gardens, the houses, or the people, Trinidad is the place to be."

"Trinidad. A historical community with diversity like no other neighborhood. A colorful town that at times is opposite of itself. A place where neighbors are as close as family."

"Trinidad offers a close and friendly community, a diverse collection of buildings, places and people. There is evidence of history that still shows today.  Walking along the tranquil streets in the residential community, present are an array of widely colored houses, one after another, including unique gardens in front of each. People are friendly and welcoming, and each of their houses represent different personalities and character. Trinidad shows through its residents' homes and buildings that it is reshaping into a much more active community."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cynthia: What I want People to Know about Trinidad

The thing that stood out to me the most about Trinidad were the gardens in almost every yard, the houses themselves, and the people that live there.

In the rows of houses almost identical in structure, the residents have planted flowers, trees, and interesting plants including cacti and bamboo.  It shows how each resident personalizes and expresses themselves in the neighborhood. 

Not only are the gardens unique to each house, but the brick homes themselves are painted in an array of colors, from blues to yellows; it really makes Trinidad a diverse community.  Not only are the homes diverse, but also the people that live there.  There are younger families and older residents, and they are all very friendly people, which makes the community even closer.  Trinidad is a humble, friendly, and unique environment.

Here are some pictures Cynthia has taken in Trinidad:

Gianni: Interview Day

From the interviews I learned that the neighborhood of Petworth wasn't what I thought it was.  I thought it would be a quiet suburb but now that I see and hear what it's like my view has changed.  I also learned that there are 3-4 schools and lots of construction so they can improve the neighborhood of Petworth.

Here is a photo Gianni took in Petworth-

Max: What Community Means to Me

Community is all about the people in a neighborhood interacting and working together.  Many things make up communities.  People, houses, schools, and recreation centers are all important parts of a community.  I have observed that communities can be very diverse.  In Petworth, there are a lot of historical sites and green areas, but there is also a lot of new development.  Instead of clashing, these two themes work well together in making the community very interesting and different.  There are large old churches preserved in the area, and also new shops opening up.  This diversity is part of Petworth's community identity. 

Rachel: What People Should Know about Southwest Waterfront

I want people to know that the Southwest Waterfront is one of the most neighborly and welcoming areas in Washington, D.C.  Not only is it filled with beautiful settings, but it also has a hidden allurement found in the people living there.  Every resident I've talked to clearly believes that the waterfront is the most charming area in the District, because it offers something for everyone.  Like Seafood? Run down to the fish market for a very unique but entertaining lunch or dinner.  Like boating?  Get your permit and rent out a boat with some buddies.  Southwest also offers many recreation centers for children and teens, as well as the pride and support given by all of the gracious people living in Southwest.  Southwest has a story of its own and I'm thankful for being able to witness it. 

Here are some photos Rachel has taken in Southwest Waterfront-

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ria: Volunteer Instructor

Volunteering for IWWL is a lot of fun for the instructors. The students are wonderful, personable, and engaged. I love seeing the sketches and photos, and talking with them about their thoughts and design process. I like to hear about what they see through their photographers' eyes. The museum staff are terrific and have made me feel very welcome. Volunteering at NBM is a rewarding experience.

Amira: Petworth Reflections

After our last site visit and particularly the interview with Prince of Petworth, I gathered that Petworth, for the people who live there, has a strong a sense of community. People sit out on their porches and talk to neighbors. When you walk down any of Petworth's residential streets people are greeting each other and pitching in to help someone carry their groceries. Many people support Georgia Avenue's new development, but some hope for less chains, shops, and restaurants, and more local businesses. Petworth is also considered a place of work and pleasure. People commute from other neighborhoods to go to work and bring their children to the new water park. In fact, most people getting off the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro stop aren't residents. To sum up, Petworth is an appealing neighborhood for its residents and its visitors.

Here are some photos Amira took in Petworth:

Keenan: Thoughts on Trinidad

Last week, in week two of IWWL, I had a lot fun making new friends, doing educational activities, and traveling to my respective neighborhood, Trinidad.  I learned a lot about Trinidad, and the people that live there, during my site visit.

Here are two photos Keenan took in Trinidad:

Community Identity Lesson

During the 2nd week of IWWL Breck and I led our community identity lesson we collaboratively planned. We got the ball rolling by a group discussion by asking the students what community means to them. Through a word map I asked them to identity different elements that make up a community. We discussed how each of the elements work together and also the affects of internal and external factors.The students had strong perspectives about the importance of community and the relationship between the various parts. I was pleasantly surprised at how vocal the students were during the lesson. We have a lot of really bright kids.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Beyond the Fish Market in SW

These last two weeks have flown by. It's hard to believe that by the end of next week everyone will shift their focus to getting the exhibit ready!

This week the SW Waterfront group had the opportunity to learn a bit more about SW beyond the the famous Fish Market. They interviewed community members who live, work, and/or volunteer in Southwest. On Thursday, the coolest day of the year by far, we split into three groups. One group met with J. Nickerson of the Gangplank Marina, one group met with Rachel Swan of Arena Stage, and the last group met with Paul Taylor who volunteers at the King-Greenleaf Recreation Center. I accompanied the group of students who visited the community center to meet Paul Taylor, which ended up being an enlightening and insightful experience for all of us.

Keana: What is Community

Keana wrote:

To me a community is a group of people, working together to make their neighborhood a nicer place.  If and when a community works together they can all be aware of events, news, and other things.  The people of a community help each other out, just like one big family. 

The students of IWWL made collages illustrating what their own communities are like.  They were all hung up in the classroom to make one giant community collage.  Here is a photo of that collage-

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Al'Asia- Photo Review Pointers

Al'Asia learned the following from the photo review-

From the photo review today I learned that when taking a photo you have to make sure you don't take a photo of empty space, but more of what your focus is.  I also learned that when taking a photo you have to think about the story behind it.  You have to think about what made you want to take a photo of your subject.  I will use this by making sure I take my pictures from different angles.  This also teaches me to not be afraid of communicating with people so that I can get a closer shot.  This is what I've learned from the photo review.

Here are some of Al'Asia's photos of Trinidad-

Kareem: What I learned from Photo Review

On Tuesday students went through a photo review with professional photographers and the IWWL staff to get feedback on their work so far.  Kareem, age 12, wrote that he learned the following from this process:

I learned texture, rule of thirds, and how to shoot in different angles.  I also learned how to use vertical lines. 

Here are two photos Kareem took in Trinidad-

Jasmine: First Impressions of Petworth

My first impression of Petworth was that it was quiet and peaceful.  People weren't in a hurry; everything was slow and calm.  I also thought that Petworth was being modernized.  It seemed like someone was doing construction on every other street.  Petworth is also green and environmentally friendly.  Everywhere you go you see so many plants and trees and flowers.  Everything is so colorful and bright, it almost makes you want to move there.  I really like Petworth and I am looking forward to going back soon!

Here are some photos Jasmine took of Petworth-

Levi: Creative Writing Response

Levi, age 11, is part of the Southwest Waterfront group.  He wrote a creative response to some of the photos he took of the Fish Market-

Some fishermen went fishing once and cought some red fish and they caught something weird.  It was a weird fish.  So a fisherman named Bob took it to the fish market to check it out.  The fish market didn't know what it was.  Bob said "I'll name it Bobby Jack."  They played together.  Bobby Jack pinched Bob's nose.  Bob said, "Bobby Jack you're in danger, don't do it again."  One day the power went out and Bob was hungry.  His generator came on and he got a big pot, and put it to boil.  He grabbed Bobby Jack and said sorry old buddy.  Bob cooked him and steam fried him and ate Bobby Jack joyfully. 

The Best Way to Spend the Summer!

Hello everyone! My name is Jamee and I am the Outreach Programs Coordinator for the National Building Museum.  This summer I'm the lead instructor for Investigating Where We. I've worked at the Museum since 2005. I am originally from a small town in Oklahoma but have called DC home for the past five years. 

My job is fun, challenging, and rewarding. I work with teens. The best part about my job is that we, the Museum, see students grow up with us, right in front of our eyes. They spend two years to seven years with our programs. This Museum is a place where teens hang out, they know the staff, and they are made to feel welcome all the time.

Students who come through NBM programs leave with a better understanding of how they can help create positive change in their communities and also how their communitiy contributes to the overall health of the city. It's really cool to see students have such ownership of their city but also be able to discuss ways in which it can improve.  I think Jasmine, a participant in Outreach Programs for three years, explains the experience well.

“At first (three years ago), IWWL was simply a cool summer camp. Now that I have learned more about the city where I live, the areas such as Brookland and Columbia Heights are not just places on the Metro map to me. I have learned what makes them a big and important part of the DC landscape.” Jasmine – age 15

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Josephine: First Impressions of Trinidad

On our site visit to Trinidad, I saw a few things I had never seen before. On the way there, I noticed a lot of construction and noise. I also heard a lot of sirens. While walking towards Trinidad, there weren't many poeple.

However, once we entered the neighborhood the first thing I noticed was the style of the houses. All of the buildings were very old fashioned, but also very colorful and different. There was a lot of plant life and a lot of flowers and trees.

Joshua: Beauty and the Beast

Josh, age 12, took this photograph is Southwest Waterfront-

Today Josh wrote a poem about the photograph in his sketchbook:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Diamonte': What I learned about photography

I learned that there is alot more to a photo then just a picture. The rule of thirds helps you balance out your picture. Also you can use leading lines to help guide you from one image to another image in the photo. Another unique thing about photos is the variety of framing you can fit into a picture. This is most of what I learned at this camp. I am looknig forward to learning more about what is in store for the camp.

Here are some of Diamonte's IWWL photos of Petworth-

Team Trinidad: Week 1

The first week has already passed, which is hard to believe. Before I know it, the exhibit will open and the summer will end. Taking care of the basics for the program, like learning about the classroom and getting to know names, is always a little stressful and time consuming, but we’ve transitioned to thinking about our neighborhoods and getting to know each other better. That’s the enjoyable part of the program.