Athens, Ga. – The Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries at the University of Georgia will host a reception celebrating new exhibitions on display Nov. 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Part of UGA’s Spotlight on the Arts Festival, the event will include light refreshments, live music, and an interactive student performance. The reception is free and open to the public.
“Performing the Archives,” a class led by Dr. Amma Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, is a course where undergraduate students have spent the fall semester exploring collections in the political archives using the campaign exhibit “On the Stump: What Does it Take to Get Elected in Georgia,” as their framework. The ensemble selected one of Georgia’s most dramatic events – the Three Governors Controversy – to serve as inspiration for developing their original performance. Staged in spaces throughout the building, students will transport attendees to 1947 for this moment in the state’s political history aided by costumes, props, food from White Tiger Gourmet, and music from local string duo Hog-Eyed Man to set the scene.
“Supported by the CTL Special Collections Fellows Program, the ensemble is thrilled to share the entertaining results of what happens when you let artists loose in the archive,” said Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin. “Because the students are using devised theatre techniques—that is, making a piece of theatre without a script but rather from creative experiments with archival material, they will share in the audience’s surprise of what this final performance will be. It will be a memorable night, indeed!”
In addition to the student performance, visitors will also have the chance to explore new exhibits on display, many of which were curated by or in collaboration with UGA students.
Dixie Gallups, a second year in the Historic Preservation graduate program, co-curated “50 Years of Foxfire,” which explores the history of the organization dedicated to documenting folk life and customs in the Appalachian Mountains. “My experience as a student curator working on this exhibit was challenging, time consuming, and exciting,” said Gallups. “This work has opened up an entire new world of possibilities and career paths for me. I think it’s safe to say that now I’m hooked on exhibits!”
Over the past two years the University of Georgia has taken significant steps toward making sure that all students engage in these kinds of hands-on experiences during their time on campus. “One of our primary goals is to serve as a teaching library, collaborating with faculty and students to support all stages of the learning process by exploring a variety of teaching and outreach methods,” said Toby Graham, university librarian and associate provost. “The Libraries’ leadership in initiatives like the Digital Humanities Lab, the Special Collections Libraries Faculty Fellows Program and new proposals now in development to create internship opportunities that meet the requirements of the new experiential learning curriculum are all steps in furtherance of that of that goal.”
Current exhibitions on display in the galleries include: “The Year of Georgia Music,” “Every Drop Counts: Managing Georgia’s Water Supply,” “50 Years of Foxfire,” “Keep Your Seats Everyone…The Redcoats are Coming!” “On the Stump: What Does it Take to Get Elected in Georgia,” and the annual exhibition honoring new inductees into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706.542.3879.
For more information about the Special Collections Libraries call 706.542.7123 or visit www.libs.uga.edu/scl