Envisioning Our Future was an 8-week program that utilized documentary storytelling as a means to explore, produce, and share youth-led visions for the future. Through a partnership between the Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) and the Appalachian Media Institute (AMI) at Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky, youth participated in an urban to rural exchange centered on documentary storytelling and media making.
Six applicants were chosen from the Greater Pittsburgh area to work intensively with the Appalachian Media Institute at Appalshop and Carnegie Museum of Art staff. Over the course of summer 2016, participants explored the basics of video and audio production, viewed and discussed documentary video, and learned how to produce and distribute meaningful media about community issues and traditions.
The program ran through July 2016. During this time youth met on four separate occasions: Twice in Whitesburg, Kentucky and twice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Participants experienced a broad range of workshops in media production, including podcasting, digital filmmaking, photography, and creative writing. They had the opportunity to critically explore their home communities and to create and disseminate stories centered on place, identity, and their desired futures.
Focused on the intersection of art and history, participants explored works from the collection that address issues of place, identity, labor, and economy including John White Alexander’s The Crowning of Labor mural in the museum’s Grand Staircase; LaToya Ruby Frazier’s Momme; paintings by John Kane; Raymond Simboli’s Pinkerton Riot; Sam Rosenberg’s Mill Scene, Pittsburgh; and Zoe Strauss’s Homesteading series.