back to news Sept. 18, 2018

Center for Folklore Studies to launch traveling exhibit: “Placemaking in Scioto County, Ohio”

The traveling exhibit “Placemaking in Scioto County, Ohio,” a collaboration between the Center for Folklore Studies, Shawnee State University and community partners throughout Scioto County, opens Friday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. at Shawnee State University’s Morris University Center. The traveling exhibit is a public project that is part of the CFS’s Ohio Field School service-learning course and archival collection.

The exhibit utilizes a series of nine pop-up banners to explore the various ways Scioto County residents create a sense of place in their environment. The banners display images and questions that are designed to facilitate community discussion about the aspects of everyday life in southern Ohio rather than represent life in the county. Conversations are encouraged to take place on social media using the hashtags #sciotogram, #mysciotocounty and #digitalappalachia.

The banners will be displayed at Shawnee State through December, after which they will be moved to various locations around Scioto County until August 2019.

Banner topics are:

  1. Introduction to the Ohio Field Schools
  2. Recovery and Rehabilitation
  3. Disaster and Survival
  4. Gathering Places
  5. Intergenerational Relationships
  6. Returning, Regeneration and Newcomers
  7. Responses to Community Needs
  8. Conservation and Preservation
  9. Everyday Artistry

Sophia Enriquez, a graduate teaching associate in the School of Music, was graduate administrative associate for the Center for Folklore Studies over the summer. She helped curate the materials for the exhibit and made several trips to Scioto County to do fieldwork, attend meetings and collect photographs.

Originally from rural southern Ohio, Enriquez said it’s rejuvenating to watch the project unfold.

“The placemaking exhibit is timely for Appalachian Ohio,” she said. “While there has been a surge of public discourse about the region over the past several years, this exhibit is going to create opportunities for folks to reflect on their communities and culture in their own unique ways. The exhibit goes beyond the pictures and text on the banners. It has been a powerful testament to the ways the university can engage alongside communities and bring attention to diverse networks already at work in Appalachian spaces.”

Susan Eleuterio is a professional folklorist with an MA in American folk culture from the State University of New York College at Oneonta. She collaborated with the Center for Folklore Studies faculty, staff and students to help develop the exhibit and create opportunities for relayed programming throughout Scioto County.

“I’ve been struck by the beauty and diversity of cultures, places and people in Scioto County, an area, which as part of Appalachian Ohio, has sometimes been stereotyped by outsiders,” Eleuterio said. “I’m looking forward to the conversations and programming that will take place at Shawnee State University and all over the county during the next year.”

The exhibit opens in conjunction with a website, and a series of community-hosted public programming centered around each of the banners’ topics will take place throughout 2019.

Visit the exhibit's website or email Cassie Patterson to learn more about the Placemaking in Scioto County, Ohio, traveling exhibit or the Ohio Field Schools initiative.

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