Vermont Folklife Center Offers Audio Storytelling Workshops in Brattleboro

Through Brattleboro Words Project

VT UntappedTM Podcast Producer Mary Wesley will co-lead a 3-part audio storytelling workshop in Brattleboro this fall

Do you have an audio storytelling project in mind but don’t quite know where to begin or how to proceed? The Vermont Folklife Center has partnered with the Brattleboro Words Project to offer a three-part workshop series on audio storytelling this fall. Led by VT Folklife Associate Director and Archivist, Andy Kolovos and VT UntappedTM Podcast Producer Mary Wesley, Introduction to Audio Storytelling: “The Basics”, “Interviewing & Recording”, and “Editing Basics” will demystify the tools and methods necessary to produce a high quality audio storytelling project from start to finish. Take all three workshops or just the one that you need the most.

Introduction to Audio Storytelling: The Basics will be offered by the Vermont Folklife Center in partnership with the Brattleboro Words Project through the generous support of The Friends of Brooks Memorial Library on October 26 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM at Brooks Memorial Library Community Room in Brattleboro. This workshop begins with a brief introduction to the Vermont Folklife Center’s work and approach to cultural research and media production. Students will then explore the tools, technologies, and methods of collecting audio field recordings and interviews—including some hands-on practice with audio gear and microphones. The workshop concludes with an overview of the audio editing process and the software tools available for the job. By the end of the day students will have received an overview of the basics of interviewing, audio recording, and the editing process as well as ideas for how to share and distribute your audio. This workshop is free to the general public but pre-registration is required by emailing BrattleboroWords@gmail.com

The second workshop, “Interviewing & Recording,” will be held on November 2 from 10:00 to 3:00PM at 118 Elliot in Brattleboro. The workshop opens with an overview of the Vermont Folklife Center’s ethnographic approach to interviewing and a discussion of the methods and ethics of recording other people’s stories. Hands on activity is central to the workshop. Using audio recording gear provided by VT Folklife, attendees will work in teams to conduct practice interviews—gaining first hand experience with the process, and familiarizing themselves with the complex challenges of balancing interpersonal engagement with interviewees while simultaneously using audio recording technology to document the interaction. In addition, students will discuss the broad field of audio recording options including stand alone audio recorders, USB computer interfaces, and Android and iOS recording apps. The day concludes with reflection on the whole process and a  discussion of project ideas. Tuition for this workshop is $95 ($55 for students). Register by calling the Vermont Folklife Center at (802) 388-4964 or by visiting https://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/workshops. The Brattleboro Words Project will underwrite the participation of teachers and community research leaders currently working or who wish to work on audio for the Brattleboro Words Trail; write to BrattleboroWords@gmail.com to apply.

“Editing Basics,” will be held November 16 from 9:30 to 2:30PM at 118 Elliot in Brattleboro. This workshop provides a hands-on introduction to basic audio editing for anyone looking to create interview-based audio content—from simple cuts and excerpts to the core skills needed to build a longer-format podcast. Participants will learn to trim, cut, assemble and mix a simple audio piece using free, web-based editing software (Soundtrap). Interview samples and hands-on support will be provided. There will also be discussion of the particularities of the medium and what goes into creating a good audio story. Participants will have time to consult about their own projects (potential or in progress) and we’ll listen to some inspiring examples. Tuition for this workshop is $95 ($55 for students). Register by calling the Vermont Folklife Center at (802) 388-4964 or by visiting https://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/workshops. The Brattleboro Words Project will underwrite the participation of teachers and community research leaders currently working on audio for the Brattleboro Words Trail; write to BrattleboroWords@gmail.com to apply.

Vermont Folklife Associate Director and Archivist Andy Kolovos

Founded in 1984, the Vermont Folklife Center is a nationally-known folklife education organization that uses ethnography—study of cultural experience through interviewing, participation and observation—to strengthen the understanding of the cultural and social fabric of Vermont’s diverse communities. The VFC’s mission is to broaden, strengthen, and deepen our understanding of Vermont; to assure a repository for our collective cultural memory; and to strengthen communities by building connections among the diverse peoples of Vermont.

The Introduction to Audio Storytelling workshop series is a part of the Vermont Folklife Center’s Cultural Sustainability Institute series.  Cultural Sustainability provides a framework for examining human experience in the present with an awareness of the past and a view toward the future.

The Brattleboro Words Project is a multi-year collaboration of Marlboro College, Brattleboro Historical Society, Brattleboro Literary Festival, Write Action and Brooks Memorial Library backed by a National Endowment for the Humanities matching grant with support from The Windham Foundation, Edward Jones, Brattleboro Savings & Loan and other local businesses and individuals. The Project seeks public participation in research, writing and creating the ‘Brattleboro Words Trail’, audio linked to sites of interest in the history of words for walking, biking and driving tours of our area, a book on Brattleboro’s printing and publishing history, historic markers and other events presented as part of the October Brattleboro Literary Festival and throughout the year. For more information visit: www.brattleborowords.org.