Camp Verde Centennial Project Gets Official Nod

[Source: Steve Ayers, Verde Independent]

The State of Arizona has given its official endorsement to a local project that will celebrate the state’s centennial in 2012.

A letter from the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission, dated Nov. 4, officially notified the Verde Confluence Centennial Committee that their digital storytelling project would be included among dozens of Legacy Projects being carried out by communities and organizations statewide.

Titled “Echoes of the Verde Confluence,” the project will, over the next year, produce a series of three- to five-minute digital videos that will tell bits and pieces of the history of the lower Verde Valley.

The short movies will be stitched together into a full-length presentation and shown to the public on or around Arizona’s 100th birthday on Feb. 14, 2012.

Partners in the project include the Yavapai-Apache Nation, National Park Service, Arizona State Parks, Town of Camp Verde, Beaver Creek Regional Council, Yavapai College, Camp Verde Unified School District, Beaver Creek School, plus some are charter schools and community organizations.

The group received a $2,500 contribution from the National Park Service to purchase digital recording equipment and pay for storytelling workshops for anyone wishing to participate.

Three groups of students from Camp Verde High School are producing the initial videos. One will tell the story of the Wingfield family, another the story of the 1899 murder of Clinton Wingfield and Mac Rodgers and one the story of Main Street, past and present.

The project, however, is not just for students. The public is invited to participate.

“We are encouraging anyone who would like to produce a short history story to contact the Camp Verde Historical Society. We would love to have as many people as possible from Camp Verde and the Beaver Creek communities, participate,” says historical society president Shirley Brinkman.

According to Judy Piner, archivist and video storyteller for the Yavapai-Apache Nation and one of the committee’s technical advisors, a five-minute video takes about 30 to 40 hours to produce.

“We teach workshops for the tribal members, old and young, and the results are phenomenal. Anyone with a desire to tell their story can and should do so. No one needs to feel intimidated by the technology,” Piner says.

Those who like to participate but are unsure what story to tell can contact the historical society. They have lots of suggestions, according to Brinkman.

“There are so many stories to be told – so many good stories. We have lots of historic documents, recordings made by some of the area’s pioneers, photos and other resources that can be used to make a good story a great story,” Brinkman says.

The Camp Verde Historical Society can be reached at (928) 567-9560. The museum, located at 435 S. Main Street, is open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment.

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