Calvin College

CALVIN - Minds in the Making

Strengthening Liberal Arts Education by Embracing Place and Particularity

Case Study

Listening to Community Voices: Documenting the past and present of a neighborhood


The leading questions explored in the class can be formulated as follows.  How can a media production project motivate a dialogue between members of the same community belonging to different social strata?  In what ways can we organize a production to generate more dialogue between the students and a particular community?

The process of answering these questions during CAS 222 proved relevant for the course content in several key aspects including interview techniques, location scouting, and editing.  Generally the most efficient way of developing this project would have been to designate specific class members to fixed crew positions, but we soon realized that this model of organization would have limited the students’ engagement with the dynamics of the community they were intended to embrace and learn about.  Therefore it was necessary to lower our quantitative expectations (i.e. number of interviews, minutes of footage) and qualitative expectations (i.e. aesthetic continuity) in order to allow the deepening of the relationship between the students and the South East Community Association.


Next: Description of Project