Posts Tagged 'Beet Street'

New Lindenmeier resource

by Terry Burton, Digital Media Coordinator

The folks at Beet Street (our Fort Collins community arts and cultural organization) wrote a great blog post yesterday about a visit to Soapstone Prairie Natural Area (SPNA). They very kindly gave a shout-out to the Museum’s recently published booklet, “The Excavation of Lindenmeier: A Folsom Site Uncovered 1934-1940.” The booklet is a great resource if you’d like to know the in-depth story of this amazing archaeological site, from discovery through excavation. Although the site itself is not accessible to the public, you can visit the Lindenmeier Overlook at SPNA and get a great view of one of the most important early  human habitation sites in North America.

I feel a little sheepish because we put a great deal of work into producing the booklet, and I have neglected to talk about it here on the blog! So, thank you to Beet Street’s post for giving me a reminder. The Lindenmeier booklet was part of a Preserve America grant that the Museum received in 2008. We had received our first Preserve America grant in 2006, which allowed us to conduct an extensive oral history project, interviewing over 40 people with ties to Soapstone Prairie; we produced a short video and a research report as part of that grant. For the second grant, we produced another video (“Meeting in the Center with Respect”), the Lindenmeier booklet, and a web-based cultural heritage tour guide (which will be launching soon).

Soapstone Prairie, and the Lindenmeier Site in particular, are very dear to our hearts at the Museum. We have the largest public collection of Lindenmeier artifacts outside of the Smithsonian Institution, with a fine assortment of Folsom points, scrapers, awls, and other tools on exhibit in our gallery. In 2000 we put on a major exhibition called “Dig It!” which provided a detailed look at the excavation. This story will also play a prominent role in our new museum. The story of Lindenemeier is a national treasure, and it’s right in our backyard.

The Lindenmeier booklet is available, free of charge, in our Museum Store. If you can’t swing by to pick up a copy, you can also download a PDF of the booklet from the Museum’s website. I will echo Beet Street’s blog and say, learn a little about Lindenmeier, and then get up to Soapstone. And prepared to be awed!

Folsom points from the Lindenemeier Archaeological Site on exhibit at the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center

The Move to Fort Collins

by Leigh Westphal, Museum Coordinator, Fort Collins Museum

“The Move to Fort Collins” event began as a component of Beet Street’s Finding Home series, which focuses on immigration in the United States. Because we deal with local history at the Fort Collins Museum, I felt inclined to keep our programming for the series focused on Fort Collins history. So, I came up with the idea of pulling some oral histories out of the Local History Archive that contained immigration as a main theme.

My initial thoughts were to simply have three separate members of our staff read one of the oral histories aloud as a reader’s theater-type event. However, things took a different direction when I presented that idea at a collaborative meeting with the other participants in the Finding Home series. Little did I know at the time of that meeting, I was sitting next to the director of Openstage Theatre, Denise Freestone. Upon hearing my concept, she generously offered to put a call out to actors to do the readings for us.  And so, the process began.

Denise and I teamed up and she played an integral role in finding some superb actors, as well as three very talented playwrights. It was an amazing partnership in that there was such a variety of perspectives at play. As a historian, my most pressing concern was maintaining the historical integrity of the oral histories. As playwrights and actors, they were interested in creating a script that captured an audience, while being as accurate as possible. So, there was quite a bit of discussion along the way that dealt with the difference between a historical piece of non-fiction and a piece of fiction based on historical sources. I think the final product successfully walked a fine line between the two. 

Also, we put together a panel discussion at the end of the event that allowed audience members to ask the authors and actors questions about the process of creating historical plays. It was an amazing dialogue that we were fortunate enough to capture on film, which is soon to be housed in our Local History Archive.

Enjoy this short excerpt, which is read by Sam Salas (as Joe Herrera) and Irene Gordon (as Elvira Herrera), written by Richard Strahle. If you’d like to see more of Sam, he’s currently starring in Openstage Theater’s production of Anon(ymous), which runs through May 2nd.

Fort Collins Memory Project

memoryThe front page of the Coloradoan is running a great story today about the Fort Collins Memory Project, an event being organized by the Fort Collins Museum as part of Beet Street‘s “Finding Home: Sharing the Journey of our Collective Immigration” series. On April 18th, the Museum will be hosting an all-day workshop where participants can digitize their photos, documents, and small objects and, with the help of Museum staff, create an interactive album of their own immigration story. Not only will participants leave the workshop with their own digital album, but their stories will also become part of the Local History Archive and the larger story of our community.

The workshop was inspired by a similar project at Berkeley’s Magnes Museum and we hope that it will be just the first of many such events. Workshop registration is free, but limited. If you’re interested in participating, please contact Leigh Westphal at the Fort Collins Museum, 970-416-2769, or email her at lwestphal-at-fcgov.com. Registration closes April 8th. For more information, see the Museum’s website.


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