Heirloom Seed and Story Keepers: Growing Community and Sustainability through Arts-based Research
In the first year of this project, the 2012 ATP students partnered with the Dahlonega Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the sponsor of a weekly farmers' market, to map this important community asset. Students hosted a seed swap at the Farmer's Market early in the fall semester and met gatekeepers who went with them to meet seed savers. The goal was to identify, meet, and interview at least one tradition bearer in each of the small settlements in Lumpkin County: Auria, Nimberwill, Yahoola Creek, Cane Creek, etc. Students were encouraged to include families of African American and Cherokee lineage in their search.
Art students assisted Appalachian Studies students in creating a "communograph," a collective memory bank that artistically represents not only the seed savers' contributions of donated seeds and shared stories but also the circuitous connections and conversations that led to locating the cultural tradition bearers. This large display of text and images visually and publically represented the findings from the research partnership. Students also planned a public celebration to recognize the contributions of all the participants.
To view the Seedkeepers Brochure click here.
Dr. Rosann Kent
Director, Appalachian Studies
North Georgia College & State University
Histoic Vickery House
Dahlonega, GA 30597
Previous Conference Participation: 2010 2009
Emory and Henry College
Mississippi State University
Mississippi University for Women
Morehead State University
Northeast Alabama Community College
Shawnee State University