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Monday, February 11, 2013

Women as Community Builders--Share a Story Project

Looking for an interesting class project this spring (or next fall)? One that involves research, interaction with community members, and that has an authentic audience?

Check out The Story Project: Celebrating Montana Women as Community Builders.

This project is part of a larger project to create a new mural for the Montana State Capitol Building--the first in over 80 years. Initiated by the 2011 Montana Legislature with Senate Bill 59 and supported by private donations, the mural will honor the history of Montana women as community builders. It will be installed in November 2014 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of woman suffrage in Montana.    

The Story Project is designed to extend the commemoration’s reach, to raise awareness about the centennial of woman suffrage in Montana, to recognize Montana women’s contributions to the state and their communities, and to celebrate the creation of the Montana Women's Mural in the State Capitol.

How will it work?

The Story Project is inviting people across Montana to collect stories about individual women and women's organizations who have helped shape our communities and state, past and present. At the completion of The Story Project (November 2014, the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage), stories and photographs donated to the project will be offered to the Archives of the Montana Historical Society for use by future generations of researchers.

What types of stories is The Story Project looking for?
 According to its website, The Story Project “welcomes stories about a woman or group of women whose type of contributions and achievements will help the artist painting the Montana Women's Mural envision how Montana women built our social institutions: libraries, museums, theaters, parks, playgrounds, schools, shelters, hospitals, labor unions, and social clubs.”

The Story Project has developed a questionnaire to guide participants’ research and storytelling, as well as forms you’ll need to submit information.

This has a potential to be a really interesting project. If anyone decides to work on this as a classroom project, I’d love to hear about it. Regardless of whether you and your students participate, I hope you’ll help spread the word to local community organizations to encourage their submissions.

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