Helena College to Offer a Bridge to Humanities Pathways in College

Aug 16, 2021 - Aug 19, 2021 All day

The Helena College grant, A Bridge to Humanities Pathways in College: Using Film Production to Explore Local Culture and Historyoffers a summer program for high school and early college students to explore the culture and history of their communities, share their research by producing a documentary film, and ultimately enroll in college coursework in the humanities.  Students will have a role in nearly all aspects of producing the film from the initial archival research to film distribution.  Students will select appropriate historical photographs, newspaper articles, literature, and moving images, write a script, interview local experts and historians, design graphics, and develop the promotion and distribution plan for their production.   

Each two-week summer program will focus on a pre-selected topic that situates present issues in the context of the past.  The topics represent the cultural heritage of the region yet reflect themes that impact the broader American culture: 2021) a comparative analysis of the healthcare and impact of pandemics of 1918 and 2020 in Montana; 2022) the crucial yet often overlooked role of people of color in the formation of the region; and 2023) mining waste and its impact on community and ecology.

Students will work with a variety of experts, including the Montana Historical Society‚Äôs research historians as they access extensive archives.  English, art, and sociology faculty members will lead workshops connecting the film medium to their fields and relevant cultural artifacts. MAPS Media Arts Institute will provide curriculum, equipment, and on-site instructors for training in filmmaking and interviewing skills.  The Director of K-12 Partnerships will help students investigate humanities pathways that transfer to four-year colleges and universities. 

Helena College is fortunate that the MAPS Media Institute (a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program awardee) offers an after-school program for high school students at the Holter Museum of Art and will expand its presence in Helena through this partnership.  In addition, Helena College has recently hired Dr. Ari Laskin, an experienced film producer and humanities professor, who will direct A Bridge to Humanities Pathways.  Helena College offers a program that capitalizes on these opportunities to strengthen its humanities image, while supporting its transfer mission. 

The 2021 Summer Bridge Program is scheduled for August 9-12 and 16-19 (8:30-4:30 each day) with lunch provided and college credit available.  Enrollment is limited to 20 students who have met basic criteria and completed their junior or senior high school year or are in their first year of college.  As compensation for film production, each student will earn a $200 stipend.  Travel costs will not be reimbursed.  For more information, contact Ari.Laskin@helenacollege.edu or Stephanie.Hunthausen@helenacollege.edu.