Water/Ways is a traveling exhibition and community engagement initiative of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program. In Minnesota, Water/Ways is led by the Minnesota Humanities Center in partnership with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota section of the American Water Works Association, and six greater Minnesota communities.
Each community will embark on an exploration of water and their identity, history, and culture. These communities will tell their local water stories and envision the future of water through a year-long engagement process. Community leaders will collaborate across sectors to create local companion exhibition, community events, and educational programming that will engage thousands of Minnesotans from across the state.
The Humanities Center and its partners hope to accomplish four goals through the Water/Ways exhibition:
1. Share national, state, and local histories and narratives about water.
2. Reinforce Minnesotans’ individual relationships with water.
3. Reinforce Minnesotans’ individual responsibility for water.
4. Build relationships between Minnesotans through community engagement events and activities preceding, during, and after the exhibit
Purpose of RFP
This interview/research position will primarily focus on indigenous, dominant-culture immigrant, and non-dominant-culture immigrant experiences and relationships to water in host site communities, both past and present.
1. Interviewer/researchers will interview people in and around host site and collect between 20-30 audio interviews with photos of interviewees and recommend 5-7 of these interviews as “featured stories.”
2. Interviewer/researchers will identify places in and around host site communities where water has or has had special significance, e.g.sites of food or drinking water gathering; sites of floods, droughts, or other meteorological water events; sites related to transportation, work, and industry; and sites related to ritual, arts, and recreation. The Humanities Center will also be collecting this information from our host site partners and anticipates that most host sites will have more capacity to share sites of significance to dominant-culture immigrants in the last 200-500 years. This position is intended to help the Humanities Center fill the gaps, especially with sites of significance to indigenous people prior to contact with Europeans and sites of significance to immigrants from non-dominant-cultures. The Humanities Center anticipates researchers identifying 7-12 significant sites and sharing one to three paragraphs of information about the importance of each of these places with the Humanities Center.
Skills: Successful candidates will demonstrate:
- The ability to communicate cross-culturally;
- Enthusiasm for people and their unheard stories;
- In-person interviewing skills including the flexibility, creativity, and curiosity to go beyond prepared questions in order to get to the heart of a story;
- Experience conducting historical and place-based research;
- Experience collecting and curating information to share with a public audience;
- A proven track record of work focusing on sharing cross-cultural, indigenous, and/or non-dominant stories, perspectives, and narratives; and
- The ability to record and share audio MP3 files, photo images (.jpg), and written documentation (Microsoft Word or Google Docs).
The key partners on this project are the Minnesota Humanities Center, the Humanities Center’s statewide scholar for story collecting/sharing (a consultant), and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Researchers will also work closely with staff and/or partners of host sites. Researchers will report to the Humanities Center.
Term of Contract:
The Humanities Center plans to contract between two and six researchers to work in six different host sites. The Humanities Center will pay researchers up to $2,500 per host site (that is, the total budget is $15,000). The Humanities Center will also provide additional funds to successful candidates to off-set travel expenses for one two -day visit to each host site. All researcher candidates invited to the training session would be paid $200 for participating in an all-day training on December 17. The work must be executed between January-March 2016 with content and recommendations delivered to the Humanities Center no later than April 1, 2016.
The deadline for all RFPs is Thursday, December 3, 2015.
Please contact Jennifer Tonko, program officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or with questions.
For more information and to read the full RFP visit the MHC website at http://mnhum.org/waterways or http://mnhum.org/Uploads/moms/water_researcher.pdf