Foxfire Revisited

by John Heydt | Mar 21, 2012
| 1 Comment

Summary:

The Foxfire Series began as a literary celebration of the people and culture of the Southern Appalachians. Inaugurated in the early 1970’s, Foxfire began as a class project assigned by an English teacher in rural Appalachia. Ninth and tenth graders were given tape recorders and sent out to interview “elders,” so as to increase the youngster’s knowledge and appreciation of mountain heritage. The audio collections were then transcribed and offered to the public in the form of quarterly newsletters that were so popular, that they retain a local best- seller status to this day.
Foxfire Revisited is designed to echo the Foxfire concept in modern day West Central Minnesota with the following alterations:
• Technology. Video cameras, as opposed to audio recorders;
• Interviewers. Members of Diversity & Inclusion student groups: “S.E.E.D.”
(7th & 8th graders) and the “Intercultural Club” (1st & 2nd year college students) will
Work in select duos, one older and one younger student;
• Interviewees. Persons residing and/or vacationing in West Central Minnesota. Emphasis placed on reaching a respondent pool with a wide variety of faiths, cultures, philosophies, ethnicities, incomes, et al.
• Queries. Survey questions will focus on the (a) feelings and (b) thoughts respondents hold in regard to (c) life experiences;
• Results. Videos will be strategically edited to engage involved communities
and presented in the form of “Community Conversations.”

Foxfire Revisited will create bonds between persons of diverse cultures and faiths by offering new perspectives on related issues in an engaging fashion.

About You

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About You

First Name

John

Last Name

Heydt

Country

United States, MN

City

Alexandria

Innovation

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Title

Foxfire Revisited

What is your best idea to build bonds and work together across cultures and faiths in your community?

The Foxfire Series began as a literary celebration of the people and culture of the Southern Appalachians. Inaugurated in the early 1970’s, Foxfire began as a class project assigned by an English teacher in rural Appalachia. Ninth and tenth graders were given tape recorders and sent out to interview “elders,” so as to increase the youngster’s knowledge and appreciation of mountain heritage. The audio collections were then transcribed and offered to the public in the form of quarterly newsletters that were so popular, that they retain a local best- seller status to this day.
Foxfire Revisited is designed to echo the Foxfire concept in modern day West Central Minnesota with the following alterations:
• Technology. Video cameras, as opposed to audio recorders;
• Interviewers. Members of Diversity & Inclusion student groups: “S.E.E.D.”
(7th & 8th graders) and the “Intercultural Club” (1st & 2nd year college students) will
Work in select duos, one older and one younger student;
• Interviewees. Persons residing and/or vacationing in West Central Minnesota. Emphasis placed on reaching a respondent pool with a wide variety of faiths, cultures, philosophies, ethnicities, incomes, et al.
• Queries. Survey questions will focus on the (a) feelings and (b) thoughts respondents hold in regard to (c) life experiences;
• Results. Videos will be strategically edited to engage involved communities
and presented in the form of “Community Conversations.”
Foxfire Revisited will create bonds between persons of diverse cultures and faiths by offering new perspectives on related issues in an engaging fashion.

Impact and Sustainability

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How will your idea have a positive impact on your community?

A mental picture of West Central Minnesota --- the proposed purview of Foxfire Revisited ---may be formed by envisioning a circular land mass featuring Wadena at 2 o’clock, Melrose at 5, and Morris at 7 and Fergus Falls at 9, with Alexandria at the hub of the wheel. Since the population in this area of the state roughly triples during the “tourist season,” the Foxfire Revisited project will utilize the months of June -thru- September for interviewing purposes. The months remaining (the time allotted) will be used to develop the edited video productions that will summarily be presented to the communities involved.
The Foxfire Revisited project is specifically designed to have a positive impact on West Central Minnesota community members. Three examples: (1) showing video documentaries will offer denizens opportunities to witness their counterparts’ personal “stories” of faith and culture, observations apt to be similar to the viewers’ own experiences; (2) combining the visual medium with facilitated Community Conversations will enlarge participants’ knowledge of and comfort with a wide variety of types of individuals and their inclinations; (3) organizing activities in which middle school and college level students act in concert will foster increased mutual respect, as well as an appreciation for the philosophies and heritage of those they interview. It’s an unsettling fact that Foxfire Revisited will offer many their first non-threatening opportunity to learn positive things about people of different faiths and cultures than their own.

What do you think the lasting effect will be if your idea is implemented?

The Foxfire Revisited project is both sustainable and replicable, a fact that almost ensures it a long-lasting existence. Components necessary for longevity/success are few, but include: video equipment (cameras, projectors, editors, et al); competent videographers; student interviewers; citizen interviewees, sites to hold Community Conversations; social media experience and expertise. The inherent interest most people have in seeing themselves and their neighbors on video --- especially when related to issues as potentially volatile as faith and culture --- is one more reason to believe that the Foxfire Revisited project will not only have lasting momentum, but will grow to include communities far beyond its West Central Minnesota roots.

hayworth structure said: I really liked your perseverance, determination and skills because you have the blood of an true athlete. - James D. Sterling about this Competition Entry. - 1926 days ago read more >

John Heydt updated this Competition Entry. - 2672 days ago

John Heydt updated this Competition Entry. - 2673 days ago

John Heydt submitted this idea. - 2673 days ago