Through a virtual and in-person exchange, Appalshop’s Appalachian Media Institute (AMI), Roadside Theater, and Zuni’s Idiwanan An Chawe are working with Zuni youth and Appalachian youth to conduct a Zuni—Appalachia exchange and collaboration. 

Idiwanan An Chawe, AMI, and their youth cohorts will plan, execute, and evaluate a virtual and live exchange and media creation process in Zuni, New Mexico. As the project begins, youth will work with their AMI and Idiwanan mentors to explore and gain deeper grounding in their particular cultural traditions, and receive training in media production. 

Leading up to the physical exchange in Zuni (in late winter-early spring, 2015), youth will get to know each other by creating and exchanging audio and video productions that communicate various elements of their places and cultures, their wishes and dreams, their fears and concerns. 

Through the broadcast of youth created audio on their local radio stations, young participants will communicate the project’s progression to their local communities.

When Appalachian youth travel to Zuni they will live with Zuni families, sharing meals and day to day activities. Both Appalachian and Zuni youth will learn more about each other’s traditional storytelling, music, and dance through formal, secular storytelling performances at ceremonial houses, which will also be attended by Zuni community members. 

Together, Zuni and Appalachian youth will make and show bi-lingual media productions from their live exchange experiences.

About Idiwanan An Chawe: Founded at Zuni in 1995, and directed by Edward Wemytewa, Idiwanan An Chawe (Children of the Middle Place) is a Zuni language theater that creates performances from traditional secular Zuni stories, dances, and music. The company has created five live music, dance, and storytelling productions, which it performs in Zuni and, occasionally, on tour in and beyond its southwestern region.

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“About: Zuni--Appalachia Youth Exchange & Collaboration 2014-2015.” November 10, 2014.

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