Making Progress, Pilgrim

This week, I made a bit of progress on my biggest concerns, and knocked out a bit of the research.  I have my list of winning ranch team ready to start loading into a timeline.   I also found some of the information on when events changed and moved during the past 35 years of the […]

This week, I made a bit of progress on my biggest concerns, and knocked out a bit of the research.  I have my list of winning ranch team ready to start loading into a timeline.   I also found some of the information on when events changed and moved during the past 35 years of the Round Up.  I completed the 2 hour training for the IRB (painful!) and have the application for approval printed up and ready to submit.  I wrote up the questions I want to ask in my interviews, and managed to get a line on a few people who may agree to be interviewed or may know someone to interview.  I was given e-mail addresses for these potential interviewees, so I wrote up an introductory e-mail to send asking for an interview.  Now comes the hard part, I am very nervous about asking for interviews.  I can’t decide if it should be a professional or informal type of request.  People in this town can be funny about discussing what goes on in this town.  Thank goodness, I at least can mention the person who gave me their names, so that might smooth the introduction.  I know I’m not the only one nervous about contacting people for interviews, so if anyone has any advice on making “cold calls” for interviews, please pass it along.  Professional or informal?  I look forward to your thoughts.

Image Credits

Square Dancers at Calgary Stampede, 1982. Image credit: Rainer Halama. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

European Film Fest poster, 2012. Image credit: Babek Akifoglu. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Marmitako festival in Algorta, Biscay, 2008. Image credit: UKBERRI.NET. CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Strawberry Festival poster. Creator: Robert Mathieson, Jr. 1889-06. Image Source: University of British Columbia Library. No known copyright restrictions. digitalcollections.library.ubc.ca/cdm/about

Dancer, Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco’s Japantown on the Peace Plaza, Geary and Post Streets. Image credit: Nancy Wong. 1990s. CC BY-SA.3.0.Wikimedia Commons.

Young boys and girls marching in Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, San Francisco. Image credits: Laika ac. CC BY-2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka. Nichi Bei weekly. 2014. File photo.

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival homepage.

Clover Stornetta Float  Sonoma Christian Home homepage.

Straus Family Creamery in Petaluma Butter and Eggs Day Parade, 2011. Straus Family Creamery homepage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Rotator Widget

Image Rotator Widget
You can add a sidebar of rotating images to your blog or project site. From the Dashboard –> Plugins –> Add New –> search for “Image Rotator Widget.” Install and activate it. In your Widgets section in the Dashboard (under Appearance), drag the newly installed Image Rotator Widget to the right-hand side of the page. Then add images from your Media Library. Configure the widget to “fade” or “linear,” or whatever your choice. Then save and view your image rotator!

Asparagus Festival: The Constructed Culture of Stockton, CA

These are my notes for the “Celebrating Asparagus” article. My initial draw to picking this article for leadership discussion was two-fold: my own festival is a food festival so I thought it might relate, and the festival takes place in the Bay Area next month, so I might check it out myself. The paper also […]

These are my notes for the “Celebrating Asparagus” article. My initial draw to picking this article for leadership discussion was two-fold: my own festival is a food festival so I thought it might relate, and the festival takes place in the Bay Area next month, so I might check it out myself. The paper also took a writing style similar to how  might construct my own festival analysis. The paper’s tie to Thanksgiving at the beginning was crucial for forming a picture. America has a short history with many cultures from other lands. Since we had no history, we constructed it. The Thanksgiving tradition is built on a story as true as a fairy tale, yet the tradition remains in the present, more powerful than its historical origins. The festival examples all take place in California, and I as a citizen have pride for my state, my county, and my town. Yet California’s American history is even more shallow than the eastern states. California was founded in 1850, made official in a now-famous adobe building in Monterey,  which was then one of California’s only towns – a pitstop for sailors. My hometown,  Santa Rosa,  was lucky enough to be one of the earliest cities, dating back to the 1868. But the town directly north, Windsor, was established only in 1992. Rohnert Park, home to Sonoma State University, was a  planned city, constructed in the 1960s along with the highway system. Though the article doesn’t touch on this fully, it’s no wonder these planned, constructed, and commercialized festivals blossomed in California towns that have no real history, Rohnert Park among them. Here’s summarized bulletpoints I wrote as I was reading the article, which can serve as jump-off points for discussion.
  • The food festival has received far less attention than other festivals, although it has deep cultural significance itself.
  • The first food festival is thanksgiving. Though myth, it is a powerful message about forging social bonds through food.
  • Food festivals are a way for Americans to celebrate their cultures while being inclusionary and nonpolitical.
  • rationally constructed food festival – based around a foodstuff associated with a community or region. It is linked to no ethnic heritage
  • The Stockton Asparagus Festival – it’s in California. Celebrates the asparagus harvest. The three-day event went from 20k to 100k participants and 150k Spears of asparagus.
  • Chocolate dipped asparagus, asparagus tea, asparagus ice cream. Even an asparagus shaped cookbook.
  • Asparagus is marketed as a “high-class vegetable” or the cadillac of festivals. Do you buy that label?
  • Asparagus is not associated with ethnicity, making it a great choice in a diverse county. What does this say about festivals that are unable to achieve a diverse attendance (like the Dogwood festival, for example)?
  • The festival is highly organized and commercial.
  • Since asparagus is a ‘male’ vegetable, the coordinator consciously feminized it for cross-gender appeal.
  • People go to be “out of time”, similar to marti gras. The asparagus theme is fun and bizarre. You feel silly eating asparagus ice cream while wearing an asparagus hat.
  • It has a “non-community commercial gloss.” Many non-asparagus events revolve around the festival, although they have nothing to do with Stockton.
  • Therefore, we have the “rationally constructed” festival.
  • This type of festival has become wildly popular. We have the Garlic Festival in Gilroy. Even Rohnert Park is mentioned for the Crane Melon festival, used as a desparate attempt to put us on the map (but now we have a casino).
  • ((Note: Rohnert Park is our quintessential commercially constructed town. It has no history or character of its own, which is why this type of festival is so attractive for such places. It puts them on the map. It says “hey, I have character too, guys.”))
  • But is there anything authentic in it at all? Is there really a difference between Gilroy’s Garlic and Stockton’s asparagus?
  • Maybe. Though constructed, Stockton has a history and a sense of community it may not otherwise have.
  • As far as anyone knows, Stockton has always been the asparagus capital. We see traditions in the present, after all

Update 3/8/16

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, but I have some big (and past-due) updates! So far, I have completed three interviews (the PMA president, the PMA Festival Officer, and one of the professors in charge of JazzFest) all of which left me with a substantial body of information to sift through. I’m currently in the […]

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, but I have some big (and past-due) updates! So far, I have completed three interviews (the PMA president, the PMA Festival Officer, and one of the professors in charge of JazzFest) all of which left me with a substantial body of information to sift through. I’m currently in the slow-but-steady process of reviewing and transcribing these interviews. JazzFest 48 is also over and seemed to be a great success. As usual I had a lot of fun attending the performances, but I also had the pleasure to sit in on the rehearsals and clinics, which gave me an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the festival from the music students’ perspective. There’s a lot of work to be done in the weeks ahead, including follow-up interviews and archival research. I have set tentative deadlines that I really hope to stick to. With the stress of midterms behind me, I plan to front load the work for this class in hopes that I will have more time later in the semester to devote to actually creating and polishing my website. Still, I am very excited to really start digging deeper and analyzing this festival. From my observations of the festival itself, I already feel like I have a better understanding of the JazzFest from the perspective of both the audience and the performers/participants/organizers.

Contract

Midwestern State University George Dale Ralston Jr. George Dale Ralston Jr. HHH100 contract Project Site: http://course.festivals.coplacdigital.org/ralston/   Mission The main goal of this project is to capture the true essence of the Hotter Than Hell bike ride.  I am striving to look in to the history of the ride that started in 1982 in Wichita […]

Midwestern State University George Dale Ralston Jr. George Dale Ralston Jr. HHH100 contract Project Site: http://course.festivals.coplacdigital.org/ralston/   Mission The main goal of this project is to capture the true essence of the Hotter Than Hell bike ride.  I am striving to look in to the history of the ride that started in 1982 in Wichita Falls, Texas.  The website will be to show the deep history and the devotion of the riders that make is a success year after year.  The ride is biggest one-day ride in the nation.  The goal is to find out what brings riders back year after year.  Also how does the ride effect the city itself.   The structure of the site will be many fold.  The first section will include pictures and stats provided by the HHH organization.  This section will include a detailed history of the event.   Time lines of changes and plans for growth in the future.  This section will also include past maps of the ride and current and future maps.   The second section will include information from riders of the event.  This section will include the experiences of different riders.  This will feature a father and daughter that ride on different levels.  While the father is just a novice rider the daughter is a competitive rider and now competes at a professional level.  This will detail their motivation to first start the ride and what keeps them coming back year after year.  Also I hope to include a point of view from riders that travel great distances to participate in the ride. The third section will focus on the impact on the city itself.  This will include interviews with city and county officials and local business men.  This will be an in-depth look at the monetary impact of the ride.   The forth section will look into the way the people of the city feel about the ride.  What drives a person to ride in this intense heat.  Do the people of the city look forward to the ride each year or do they dread it?  How do people feel about volunteering to work?  How do people feel about the constant bike riding around town?  Everywhere you go you see people on bikes in all weather.   The plan is to bring the ride to life for the reader and use the many parts of the site to further the ride in the future.   TOOLS I PLAN TO USE At this point I am still in the planning stage.  Still playing with the many themes on word press.  I will use my knowledge of website design to make a astetic pleasing presentation.   I do plan on time lines with photos of the ride and descriptions of the event.   I also hope to use some audio of a professional rider and her emotions and experiences in the race.   PROPOSED TIMELINE March 4th meet with HHH 100 director.  This is to obtain pictures and history of the event   March 18th start interviews with riders and official interview of director.   April 1st first of interview dictation done.   April 15th drafts of final project done   April 25th final polishing of project starts   May 5th project completed and turned in.  

Festivals Contract

Festivals Contract on Google Docs MISSION STATEMENT The key objective of this project is to research and analyze the Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival (JazzFest) (its patterns, rituals, participant behavior, values, status hierarchy among individuals, gestures, body language, clothing, vernacular speech, etc.) using ethnographic and anthropological methods in order to understand the festival’s cultural and […]

Festivals Contract on Google Docs MISSION STATEMENT The key objective of this project is to research and analyze the Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival (JazzFest) (its patterns, rituals, participant behavior, values, status hierarchy among individuals, gestures, body language, clothing, vernacular speech, etc.) using ethnographic and anthropological methods in order to understand the festival’s cultural and historical significance. I plan to conduct oral interviews and archival research, as well as document and analyze my experiences at the event from an ethnographic perspective. Along the way, I will build a WordPress website/blog to publicly exhibit my results. TOOLS         As of right now, my WordPress site uses a simple theme called “Lovecraft.” I only have a home page right now, but I plan to add a few more pages on the final project. Ideally, I would like my homepage to feature my mission statement and a very brief overview of the festival. I also plan to have a pages dedicated to the history of the festival (including a timeline), JazzFest 48, a photo gallery (including pictures of performances, tickets, posters, etc.), and videos and audio recordings from previous festivals. I have not decided if it would be best to have a single page where I publish my overall analysis of the festival or if I should do this in each individual page, but I am leaning toward the latter.         In addition to WordPress, I intend to use YouTube (for videos of performances), Timeline JS3 to document the history of JazzFest (e.g. performance dates, quick info on guest performers, etc.), and (possibly) Google Maps mainly to show Kirksville in relation to some of the visiting high schools and middle schools from around the Midwest region. DEADLINES Since JazzFest 48 will took place in the middle of the semester, I was fortunate to be able to attend both public concerts (the “Judge’s Jam” at the Dukum Inn on February 26 and the main performance on campus the following night). In addition, I had permission to sit in on the somewhat exclusive rehearsals, clinics, and competitions that are offered to the music students on campus (especially those in jazz combos and big bands) and the visiting high school and middle school groups from around the Midwest. Thus, I have already completed some significant goals: Feb. 20: First interviews with Zach Green (JazzFest Officer) Feb. 22: First interviews with Prof. Tim AuBuchon (“Mr. A”) (PMA Faculty Advisor and Jazz Band Director) Feb. 24: First interviews with Ryan Staines (PMA President) Feb. 26: Attend JazzFest Day 1                   Rehearsals 1:30-4:30                   Clinic 5:00-6:00                   Judge’s Jam 9:00-midnight Feb. 27: Attend JazzFest Day 2                  Rehearsals, Judged Performances, Clinics 8:00a.-6:00p.                  Featured Concert 8:00 From here, my tentative plan is to complete the following no later than the indicated dates: March 11: Clean up ethnographic notes/observations                      Begin analysis March 19: Meet with Aaron Speight (Truman Digital Collections Librarian) about audio/video recordings from JazzFest and archived newspaper/magazine articles. Meet with Amanda Lanangendoerfer (Special Collections and Archives Librarian) about other archival records/documents (e.g., programs, posters, etc.). March 25: Interview Adam Boyles (Current PMA Historian) and to see programs, tickets, t-shirts, etc. Conduct follow-up interviews with Zach Green, Mr. AuBuchon, and Ryan Staines, reflections on JazzFest 48. April 2: Review archived Echo books (Truman State University’s ‘year book’) for pieces on JazzFest over the years. April 6: Rough draft of project April 21: Polished, edited project May 5: Final Project May 10: Reflection Blog/Paper May 12: Public Presentation and Peer review

Project Contract

The purpose of my ethnographic research into the Deep Roots festivals is to come to a deeper understanding of the influences, purposes and intended and unintended consequences of this annual festival. I plan to add to the exciting historical archive of Georgia’s original capitol by investigating the original and present-day cultural patterns and shifts in […]

The purpose of my ethnographic research into the Deep Roots festivals is to come to a deeper understanding of the influences, purposes and intended and unintended consequences of this annual festival. I plan to add to the exciting historical archive of Georgia’s original capitol by investigating the original and present-day cultural patterns and shifts in the Deep Roots planning, execution and aftermath.  I will include an interactive time line documenting from the inspiration of this festival twelve years ago through notable milestones in its journey to 2016. There will be ample previously recorded material featured in this research. The main product of this research will be an interactive map that shows what parts of town, county and state history are embedded and have led to the creation and continuation of the Deep Roots Festival. I wil utilize the following tools: -interactive timeline -interactive map -voice recording software for map, timeline and interviews -music from past Deep Roots festivals Below is my tentative timeline:
  • March 2:  Submit interview questions to IRB
  • March 8:  Interview of Milledgeville City Hall employee, Transcription Complete, add to website
  • March 15: Interview of Festival Music Coordinator, Transcription Complete, add to website
  • March 17: Interview of Festival Volunteer, Transcription complete, add to website
  • March 22: Record own and edit interview voice recordings, for Timeline and Map, Have collected music from past festivals, add to website
  • April 5: Complete Timeline, add to website
  • April 19: Complete Map, add to website
  • April 26:  All research completed and cited, add citation sheet to website
  • May 5: Website completed
 

Texas Ranch Round Up Project Contract

The goal of this project encompasses better understanding the community goal of the activities included in the week of the Round Up event.  This includes attempting to determine if the cattle ranching community (or at least of the ranches selected to participate) wish to share their “love” of their lifestyle, or attempt to limit enjoyment […]

The goal of this project encompasses better understanding the community goal of the activities included in the week of the Round Up event.  This includes attempting to determine if the cattle ranching community (or at least of the ranches selected to participate) wish to share their “love” of their lifestyle, or attempt to limit enjoyment of the event only to those who share it.  Without being able to participate in the event before the end of the semester, observation will be limited to interviews and informal queries of community members – in an attempt to obtain unprepared and potentially more unbiased responses to questions. As potentials for interviews, I would like to layer the interviews through participation status – rancher, volunteer, guest speaker, and crowd.  I am hoping to contact one guest entertainer for an interview.  She has performed at the Cowboy Church service several times and is scheduled again for this year’s event.  I am hoping that she can provide insight into the idea of a full religious service at a community event.  This appeals to me as a unique experience for an event not associated with a religious holiday or celebration. The website may be rather basic as my abilities with the WordPress structure are limited.  I do plan to create a timeline of event winners and showing when new events were added to the Round Up over the years.  I would like to show a map, probably using Google Maps, to show the locations and sizes of the ranches involved.  Since this is a well reported event each year, I am hoping to include videos from You Tube or local news stations on the website.  I also hope to include samples of items from the various surrounding events, such as artwork, poetry, and pictures of food from the chuck wagon.  I’m not certain how best to display these, but will seek an interesting format to prevent merely another drop down menu.  I would love to learn how to have the images flow through the main page. My biggest difficulty may be finding people to interview.  The official committee communication person appears to be hesitant to respond to my request for contacts.  Understandably, the committee may be concerned about my academic treatment of the Round Up’s ideals.  I am seeking points of contacts through other channels, but my interviews may be later in coming.  While I am working on finding candidates to interview, I will be researching the archives for perspectives on the event from previous decades.  A big question will be to the claim that this event helped launch similar events across the nation.  If this event was the first of its kind, how did the idea catch on to become popular in other cities? Timeline March 10: Send invitation to Ms. McIntyre for interview.  Have names for other potential interviewees.    Have list of winning ranches for timeline.  Have questions to the IRB. March 15:  Begin creating timeline of winners and new events. March 17: Gather videos and news stories on events. March 22: Begin interviews.  Begin building menu drop downs. March 24: Interviews continued.  Begin transcribing. March 29: Continue Interviews and transcribing. March 31:  Begin website build, hopefully with improved graphics. April 5: Continue Interviews and transcribing.  Website Building. April 7: Continue Interviews and transcribing. Website Building. April 12: Continue Interviews and transcribing. Website Building. April 14: Continue Interviews and transcribing. Website Building. April 21: Project Draft Completed. April 23: Update website from feedback April 28: Work on improvements to project. Begin work on final project blog. April 30: Work on improvements to project. May 3: Work on improvements to project and presentation May 5:  Final project Due. May 10:  Presentation on final project. May 12: Peer Review Due. May 14:  MSU Graduation

Interview Questions

“What is your role in the Deep Roots festival?” “Why did Deep Roots originate?”, “Has it at all made an impact on the culture of Milledgeville?” “Is there a reason why it takes place so close to the university?” :”Has Deep Roots held true to its original vision?” “Would anything happen if Deep Roots didn’t […]

“What is your role in the Deep Roots festival?” “Why did Deep Roots originate?”, “Has it at all made an impact on the culture of Milledgeville?” “Is there a reason why it takes place so close to the university?” :”Has Deep Roots held true to its original vision?” “Would anything happen if Deep Roots didn’t happen anymore?” “Have you observed any trend among the participants or attendees of Deep Roots over the past twelve years?” “Do you believe the identity of  individuals of the town to be impacted by Deep Roots?” “”How is the musical guest chosen for the annual festival?” “Do you have any additional anecdotes of the festival that you’d like to share?”