BCM and Reality Garage develop VR curriculum for BHS

Featured

dave paul students

Boulder High School digital arts instructor Dave Blessing and student mentor Paul Mealey assist students with the virtual reality project editing

Boulder Community Media (BCM) partnered with the Reality Garage and Boulder High School (BHS) to integrate virtual reality digital programming into the traditional arts.

The acronym, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), is commonly associated non-artistic endeavors.

There is a new iteration that moves STEM into creative industries called STEAM with the “A” representing “arts”.

The digital age added a new dimension to traditional analog art media – paintings, written pages, sculpted forms, animated digital books, 3D movies, and stories told in video game environments.

What if the the otherwise non-artistic skill of virtual reality is integrated into the arts?

best buy foundation

A grant was received from the Best Buy Foundation to develop a VR curriculum and camera operation manual.

The Boulder Virtual Reality (BVR) project was recently completed and does just that, thanks to a small grant from the Best Buy Foundation.

The grant enabled implementation of Phase II of a three Phase project.

During the fall 2018 – 2019 semester at BHS, 19 students were taught about virtual reality by teacher Dave Blessing and Reality Garage owners Bob Ottinger and Brenda Lee.

Reality Garage is a Boulder-based virtual reality technology development company.

bob and student

Bob Ottinger from the Reality Garage answers a student’s question.

Students learned hands-on job skills in the classroom work and also in the field where they operated a couple types of cameras.

They then learned how to manipulate the photos and videos into completed “stories.”

The BVR developed two manuals, VR Filming Techniques Curriculum, and VR Camera OperationsThe students completed 13 VR photo projects and 15 VR video projects during the semester.

One student emerged as a mentor who assisted other students and another is working as an intern at Reality Garage.

allison drum.png

Northern Arapaho singer Alison Sage demonstrates traditional drumming and singing.

Phase I was funded by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council.

The Wind River VR Pilot Project introduced virtual reality as a new medium to tell traditional Northern Arapaho stories in a more relevant way to tribal youth.

BCM collaborated with Makerspace 307 in Fort Washakie, Wyoming who recruited four tribal youth to participate.

VR trainer, Glenn Reese, worked with the students in basic camera operation.

IMG_7063.JPG

Northern Arapaho artist Robert Martines talks about tribal tradition.

Northern Arapaho artist Robert Martinez discussed with the students the importance of passing tribal traditions to future generations.

Robert worked with the youth as they drew pictures illustrating an Arapaho folk tale, “The Fox and the Wood Tick,” as told by tribal elder Merle Haas.

Alison Sage is a singer member of the Northern Arapaho Eagle Society. He explained how tribal stories and experiences are preserved through song and drumming and worked with the students with expressing themselves through music.

wac logo

The Wyoming Arts Council funded Phase I

The crew then traveled to the nearby Arapaho Ranch to integrate flat art and original music with virtual reality.

A virtual reality camera was set up and students displayed their art work. An original music soundtrack was improvised on the grand piano in the ranch house.

merle gary glenn alan

Arapaho elder Gary Collins, BCM VR trainer Glenn Reese and Alan O’Hashi pose with Arapaho storyteller Merle Haas.

Merle Haas read The Fox and the Wood Tick in the Arapaho language. The virtual reality footage of the students with their art work was set to the Arapaho language narration and the student-composed music.

Over time, classrooms will be moving away from “learning” a subject to “feeling” the content through immersion.

To this end, the BVR Phase III project is underway. A third small grant was received from the city of Boulder Arts Commission.

IMG_2114.JPG

A marker designates the Fort Chambers site.

That project adds virtual reality to telling the story of a Fort Chambers, which was constructed on the outskirts of Boulder.

The sod fort no longer stands, but was the training facility for the 3rd Volunteer Cavalry who killed Arapaho and Cheyenne tribal members at the infamous Sand Creek Massacre.

bac logo

The BAC funded the Phase III Fort Chambers VR project.

Students will be creating a virtual Fort Chambers that the viewer and walk through, to the narration of Arapaho tribal members who recount the stories told of the massacre by their ancestors.

The BVR is an engagement tool that in Phase III will teach students the use of a software called Tilt Brush and a program called Unity which will allow a student to explore, experience or be involved as if they are actually present in that environment or place.

Beyond Wind River: The Arapaho and Fort Chambers in preproduction

sand creek ledger

Sand Creek Massacre ledger art scene by Howling Wolf

Beyond Wind River: The Arapaho and Fort Chambers” is the latest documentary by Alan O’Hashi and Boulder Community Media.

A Boulder, CO shaker and mover named David Nichols in 1864 recruited 100 local volunteer militiamen to train at Fort Chambers located just east of town to kill Indians at Sand Creek.

Flash forward to 2018 when the city of Boulder government purchased the fort location as open space and a group of citizens called Right Relationship Boulder (RRB) is working to repatriate that land, in some form, back to the Arapaho people.

This is a story about a chapter in Boulder’s cultural history told from the perspectives of the Arapaho people. Arapaho cultural traditions are oral ones.

Documenting Arapaho voices preserves tribal members’ Sand Creek Massacre experiences that have been orally passed down from generation-to-generation.

RRB is a group of Native and non-Native Boulder-area residents who work with local governments and organizations to help all residents learn about the Native peoples who lived here historically, and who live here today.

RRB is also the lead organizer of Boulder Indigenous People’s Day that happens in October.

IMG_3669

The city of Boulder purchased the Chambers property east of Boulder.

The Chambers property includes a home and pasture land along Boulder Creek at Valmont and 61st east of town.

Stay tuned, for project updates. BCM is also seeking contributions of any amount towards the project to match the Boulder Arts Commission grant.

Donate-Button

Contributors will be included in the movie credits.

 

 

 

 

 

Buy ‘Beyond Heart Mountain’ about Japanese in Downtown Cheyenne

bhm 1-1What happened to the Japanese residents and businesses on West 17th Street in downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming?

Beyond Heart Mountain is available for pre-sale.

It’s not just about the demise of the once vibrant Japanese community in a small town in Wyoming that thrived from the 1920s through the 1960s, but about how downtown areas can be revived by adding new life to them with people.

The story is a historical memoir told through the eyes of the author, a Sansei generation Baby Boomer Cheyenne native, Alan O’Hashi.

The 1st edition 50 page picture book is a short run 8×11″ hard cover book with a dust jacket. The price is $58.99, preview the book by opening the YouTube link. Download a pdf copy of the Beyond Heart Mountain preface.

Pre-orders are being accepted. The release date is the “Day of Remembrance” on February 19th, which commemorates 77 years since President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 that required internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry.

Northern Arapaho story told in virtual reality

IMG_7879

Wyoming Community Media’s Alan O’Hashi and Glenn Reese teamed up with the Maker Space 307 to teach students about virtual reality.

The Northern Arapaho Tribe has a tribal priority to reintroduce and preserve the Arapaho language.

Even though the language is taught in school, students spend the majority of their time at home or in the community interacting with family and friends where there is inconsistent reinforcement of cultural cues learned in the classroom.

How can a traditionally oral language be made relevant to young people who are digitally connected to games, and other mass media screens?

IMG_7834

Glenn Reese sets the Vuze camera at the historic Arapaho Ranch mansion.

To answer this question, Wyoming Community Media and it’s producers Alan O’Hashi and Glenn Reese teamed up with Lorre Hoffman and the Maker Space 307 summer youth service learning program, based in Fort Washakie on the Wind River Reservation.

Four students participated during the three-day class and production project.

IMG_7887

Arapaho Gary Collins and Arapaho story teller Merle Haas pose with Alan and Glenn after she read the Fox and Woodtick in Arapaho

Northern Arapaho elder and story teller Merle Haas wrote down a short story passed down to her from her great grandfather, Chief Yellow Calf.

“The Fox and the Woodtick” teaches a lesson about “thinking outside the box.”

Northern Arapaho Eagle Drum Society singer and drummer Alison Sage spoke about the traditional importance and healing properties of making music.

IMG_7063

Artist Robert Martinez gives a workshop about tribal art and how it is still a story telling medium.

Artist Robert Martinez gave a presentation about how tribal artwork has evolved over the years and continues to be an important means of storytelling.

allison drum

Eagle Drum Society member Allison Sage demonstrates his original songs.

We worked closely with Bob Ottinger and the Reality Garage in Boulder, Colorado who loaned us a Vuze virtual reality camera, a Samsung 360 camera and a high speed computer.

IMG_7803

The Reality Garage in Boulder, Colorado loaned the project the Vuze camera and a high speed lap top.

When it was all said and done, the youth combined their self-composed music and original art to tell Merle’s folk tale in two dimensions and 360 degree virtual reality on location at the historic Arapaho Ranch Mansion north of Thermopolis, Wyoming.

This is a pilot project that demonstrates an efficient way for tribes to present traditional language and cultural preservation efforts in a not-so-traditional format to tribal and non-tribal cultures.

Real D 3D Salon at BIFF 2013

go_pro3d_600x600Boulder Community Media (BCM) is hosting the RealD 3D Salon at the Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) and seeking up to 6 teams of four or more cast and crew members. More teams may be added depending on demand. There is no entry fee, but teams must have a valid credit card and drivers’ license to secure the equipment that will checkout out to you for the week.

Download the BCM 3D contest registration form and email it back to bvet22@yahoo.com by February 9th or bring it to the 3D workshop on Saturday to the place which will be announced later.

A 3D filmmaking workshop will be held on Saturday February 9 (Place TBD) from 10am to 2pm.

Participants will learn how to operate the GoPro 3D camera rigs and how to use the Cineform 3D editing software and how it interfaces with 2D editing programs.After the class, teams will have a week to finish their 7-minute 3D movies which will be screened at the BIFF on Saturday night 7pm February 16th through a RealD projection system onto the silver screen.

The filmmakers will participate in a panel along with representatives from RealD and each filmmaking team who will be on hand to discuss their technologies and projects.