Roots with Wings, a Floyd County Place-Based Education Project:: Intergenerational Connections

Floyd Story Center

Since 1998, a community oral history collection partnership of the Old Church Gallery, Ltd., Radford University’s Center for Social and Cultural Research, Honors Program, Scholar-Citizen Initiative, Appalachian Regional and Rural Studies Center, and Floyd County High School. Our archives now hold over 100 interviews.

In our Roots with Wings project, college mentors, high school staff, and community volunteers meet weekly during the school year to teach the discipline of oral history collection.

Students learn ethical, methodologically sound interview techniques, practice and complete several interviews, transcribe the audiotapes, create searchable content logs, archive interviewee resources and period photographs, learn the technology of audio and video recording, research historical backgrounds, acquire proficiency in iMovie and storytelling, and finally extract a theme from an hour long interview to create a seven minute movie production.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Community Foundation GiveLocalNRV

Dear Roots with Wings Friend, 
Today's post is more than our usual blog post.  Please click on the link below to see what we are doing.

While you're there, you'll notice that there is a "Donate" button. 
The Old Church Gallery has been pleased over the years to participate in the Community Foundation of the New River Valley's fundraising efforts.
The designated day for folks to peruse the many organizations helping with local needs formerly was called GiveBig.  Currently it is GiveLocalNRV. 
The Community Foundation's seventh annual NRV day of giving is Wednesday, June 24, 2020. 
If you would like to donate, we would certainly appreciate it.  As is the case with so many community efforts, sources of funding have been curtailed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  In a bit of irony, the Old Church Gallery isn't eligible to apply for special pandemic funds generously developed by Virginia Humanities because the funds are earmarked to aid paid staff -- and we are all volunteers. 

We hope you are doing well and keeping your stories. 

Thank you for your interest in the ROOTS WITH WINGS Project and the OLD CHURCH GALLERY.  Please feel free to share our blog link:  

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Intern Salute

Since the beginning of the Floyd Story Center at the Old Church Gallery’s Roots with Wings Oral History Project, Radford University Anthropology and Sociology students have been both foundation and backbone elements.  In May of 2019, coordinators of the  Roots with Wings Project pondered how to introduce students representing a wider range of Radford University programs of study to the Museum.  Dr. Melinda Wagner reached out to Dr. Roann Barris of the RU Art Department.  Part of that correspondence follows:

Dear Roann,
Do you think a Museum Intern would be able to undertake and benefit from this work?  The intern would need to be a quick learner and able to work independently, as well as work well with volunteer staff.  I always think one of the most important traits for interns is to know when to ask for direction and when to act on their own.  The intern would need to travel to the Old Church Gallery in Floyd.  From RU that is 25 miles one way – a 45-minute trip.  And the intern’s schedule would need to be sufficiently flexible to allow a match with volunteer staff schedules. 

Hello, Melinda. I always read your reports and the upcoming intern experience sounds wonderful and valuable. Will we have someone in the program to be able to do it? I can think of a few people who might be interested.

Hi Melinda, I spoke to a student who actually received her bachelor’s degree a year ago, and this year, she started taking courses in our Master of Fine Arts program which really isn’t her interest since she wants to do museum work and art history.  So she is still around Radford and would be very interested in the internship experience in Floyd.  Ally has experience and would be an asset for the program.  If she doesn’t have to be enrolled in classes, she’s the one.  I told her about the Floyd program and she asked me to tell you of her interest.  

September 9, 2019
Good morning, 
I have been corresponding with Melinda Wagner about volunteering at the Old Church Gallery.  I plan on joining the other volunteers on Wednesday and was just wondering if there’s anything I need to know prior to meeting or if I need to bring anything specific. 
Thank you, I look forward to meeting and working with everyone! 
Ally Amick 

Ally with her trusty camera
So began a most enjoyable relationship with a young volunteer.  Ally grew up in Hampton, Virginia:  She studied art history and museum work and plans to continue those studies in graduate school.  She had completed a tour of volunteer work with the Taubman Museum and wanted to have experience with a smaller community museum.  Ally had heard of the Roots With Wings project and of The Old Church Gallery but had never visited.  This would be a compare and contrast experience — always my favorite type of exploration.  She arrived cheerful and eager to contribute.  She easily became a member of the Wednesday work group jumping right in to help photograph and measure quilts.  

October 16, 2019
Dear Roann, 
I just wanted to let you know that Ally Amick, who you recommended as an intern for the Floyd Story Center at the  Old Church Gallery and Museum, has been a real boon.  That is what I have heard via word of mouth, and here is a message I received from Alice Slusher, board member of the Old Church Gallery and loyal volunteer:
All is going well with Ally.   Thus far she's worked with Catherine and a team of volunteers, putting posters from past exhibits in the "big book" display, and photographing and measuring crazy quilts from the permanent collection.
Thank you so much for sending Ally our way. 

In February the Gallery house underwent renovation, which then called for major clean-up.  I put out a request to the volunteers.  Not only did Ally come, she brought her own vacuum cleaner.  Not only did she come and bring her own vacuum cleaner, she donated her vacuum cleaner to the Old Church Gallery.

Ally dusted (and vacuumed), took notes, carried furniture, took and documented photographs.  The link to a short video she prepared from her photographs is at the bottom of this page.  She became a member of the team, joining in the laughter as we shared tea, coffee, and chocolate at the end of a workday.  Her adventure in a small county museum has been an experience with a slice of Blue Ridge culture.

Teatime at the Old Church Gallery for volunteers Catherine Pauley, Terri Philpot,
Ally Amick, Vicki Gardner, and Alice Slusher.  Out of photo view is Susan Vaughn.
Although Ally is moving to Wisconsin, she will continue to volunteer her on-line time to help with transcriptions and documentation.  She will become our first national volunteer.  I give Ally my highest compliment:  “You’re a good gal, Charlie Brown.”

Here is a link to a video that illustrates some of the contributions Ally Amick made to documenting the Old Church Gallery’s collections.
The video is 1 minute and 30 seconds long.

Catherine Pauley
Executive Vice President
Old Church Gallery

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Sweet and Sassy Exhibit Video Available

Dear Roots with Wings Friend, 
I hope you will have a chance to take a look at this video. 
Here is the link:  
The video profiles the The Old Church Gallery's 2019 exhibit, "Sweet and Sassy," featuring the innovative uses of feed sacks printed with colorful patterns by enterprising feed manufacturers from the 1920s into the 1950s.  Sales took off as thrifty farm women turned feed sacks into shirts, dresses, aprons, curtains, quilts, and stuffed animals.  

The video stars Old Church Gallery volunteers, Catherine Pauley, Clara Martin, Janet Slusher Keith, and Alice Slusher.  

We're offering the video with the permission of Floyd's Citizens Telephone Cooperative; it was created for their Community Show on cable television.  Hari Berzins is the producer of these terrific shows.  The video is 40 minutes long. 


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Roots with Wings Internship

Bijou Williams,
Class Photographer
Dear Roots with Wings Friend, 

Our Radford University Roots with Wings Spring 2020 intern, Bijou Williams, created a short presentation about her experience with us.  
Here is a link to it.  Please enjoy watching.  It is 6 minutes long. 

We have learned that RU’s Citizen Leader Program, that sponsored Bijou’s internship, is planning to highlight her video on their website.  That’s a nice kudos for Bijou and another avenue to teach about the Old Church Gallery, which Bijou really wanted her presentation to do.

Every Spring, our Radford University mentors and interns make presentations for the RU Student Engagement Forum.  During the Forum's three days in April, hundreds of RU students discuss their research and applied work.  This year, with the University shuttered, it seemed the Forum would be cancelled for the first time in its 29-year history.  But, always seeking ways to encourage students, Joe Wirgau and Margaret Pate, from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship that organizes the Forum, and our friends at the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, Samantha Blevins, Charley Cosmato, and John Hildreth, developed a virtual/on-line Student Engagement Forum.   Bijou’s presentation was part of the virtual Forum.  We are proud of Bijou and the other students who stepped up to assure that this Highlander tradition would continue.