10 Ways to Explore and Express What Makes Your Community Unique – NYTimes.com
- What communities are you a part of? Which one matters to you most?
- What do people need to know about this community?
- How can you communicate that?
1. The First Step: Brainstorm About the Communities You Belong To
How many communities are you a part of? Making a list or a mind map of some sort to brainstorm answers to that question will help you as you consider the project ideas below.
For instance, you are a member of a family; an ethnic, racial or religious group or groups; a gender, age and geographic group; and a school community. But you may also be a member of a baseball team or debate club or band; a rabid fan of a musician, football team or book series; a member of a church or gaming community or summer camp or service or arts organization.
Come up with as many communities as you can, then choose one that deeply matters to you as you consider the project options below.
2. Take Photographic Portraits of Your Community
3. Interview Interesting Characters
Who are the “characters” in your community? Who has a special talent? An interesting job or hobby? A compelling life story? Who is the unofficial “mayor“?
4. Explore and Explain Community History
For instance, you might delve into the history of a local sports team, an annual community event, or local political history to understand how a community problem was solved.
Ask yourself as you research: What should members of this community today know about its history? Why?
5. Tell a Community Story Through Objects
What physical objects represent your community? Why?
After you decide on a collection of artifacts that represent aspects of your community, you might create a gallery show, a video, a podcast, a website or a Tumblr to display and explain them.
6. Highlight Community Data in an Infographic
What interesting data can you gather about your community? How can you express it in a graphic? For example, you could survey your community about something and depict the results with a graph; highlight numbers that show something special — or worrying — about your community; or overlay data on a map.
7. Celebrate (and Cook and Eat) Community Food
How do communities and beliefs shape how and what people eat? Conversely, how do food values and preferences help people find and create communities?
If cooking and eating are important to the community you are exploring, you might consider expressing it through food somehow.
8. Localize National or World Stories to Show Local Implications
Consider localizing a story you, and they, find important by reporting on repercussions or parallels in your own area.
9. Explore Science and Health Issues in Your Community
When you first brainstormed about all the communities of which you are a part, you may have listed a health community of some kind. If you have a physical disability, a learning challenge, a chronic condition or any other health issue, you might consider investigating and expressing something about that community for your project.
10. Express the Culture of Your Community
What’s special culturally about the community you have chosen to investigate? How does it represent itself through music, visual arts, dance or film.