Oral Histories to Virtual Reality Zoom Event & Auction
We had a very successful Zoom event in March. The event featured speakers from different backgrounds telling stories as they relate to personal and community memory, 2D and 3D technology. Our featured speaker was Eric Hanson of BluePlanet VR/USC, who talked about incorporating different types of storytelling into 3D environments. He demonstrated for the audience how he layers our content into specific landscapes through a tour of our interactive experience. Our auction was a hit, selling out all of our donated items. We extend a huge thank you to everyone who joined us for the event, and who participated in the auction. Your support is keeping us afloat!

Native Spotlights

Our Native Spotlight Series has officially begun. Our first Spotlight featured novelist Dr. Darcie Little Badger who created a fantastic video of she and her mother discussing her novel Elatsoe. Our second Spotlight was a two part series with Corey Smallcanyon, an independent researcher and historian. He created multiple videos for us that highlight the story of creating his family tree, understanding Navajo genealogy and the challenges that come with it. He also interviewed friends who are authors and experts in genealogy. Stay tuned for more Native Spotlights in the future and if you know someone who might be interested, please reach out.

Artist Hans Baumann has completed the Art Book commission for The ONWARD Project. The Art Book is a contemporary archival piece interrogating key issues related to the 1930’s Expedition, including mapping precepts, foundational concepts and intentions behind the Expedition operating within the Navajo Nation over a significant geographical area. It is a significant piece that is noteworthy as an object and for its carefully assembled multi-layer plates and powerful content. We are in the process of creating a digital online exhibition with Hans Baumann in collaboration with Ben Benjamin.   

Max Littlesalt Graphic Biography Translation

We are pleased to have launched the Navajo audio translation to our online publication, Max Littlesalt: A Graphic Biography.  Lithuania recorded  her uncle Charles, son of Max Littlesalt, reading the book in Navajo-a simultaneous translation! Our web developer Ben Benjamin seamlessly integrated the audio into the existing website. Our Education Committee is investigating the possibilities for the biography to become the core for a packet of digital education tools.

The ONWARD Project website has a new updated design and revamped blog section to offer greater accessibility to our content with more visuals.  we now have the ability to highlight content with the featured posts now given prominence in each section the website.  Our reimagined home page gives our projects greater accessibility and prominence.

Coming this Summer…

– We are in the process of creating a second digital, illustrated Graphic Biography focused on Expedition members and their experiences with the Expedition in the Navajo lands of the desert Southwest. We anticipate a launch of this new digital publication in the early summer.

– We are funded to invite two high school interns, and two Navajo college interns to work with us remotely for eight weeks on a digitally-based educational outreach initiative for self-directed learning.

The ONWARD Project is currently working on…

– We are in the initial phase of creating a series of online exhibitions hosted through our website. The first exhibition will feature Han Baumann’s art book. He is working with developer Ben Benjamin to create an accessible, interactive and immersive exhibition experience through our website.

-We are continuing our ongoing series of periodic Newsletters focusing on different aspects of the rich content related to the Rainbow Bridge-Monument Valley Expedition to inspire new understandings of history, people and place.

– We are currently in the planning stages for a new Introductory video that will summarize the many pieces of The ONWARD Project, with filmmaker Peter Kirby. We have collected many new stories and much new material, including interviews by Pamela Peters with participants from our artist residency with Hans Baumann in 2018 at ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena.

– Researchers Allison Fischer-Olsen and Claire Perrott are in the early research phase of a new article about the motivations and goals for the historic RBMVE and the National Park that never came to be.

– We are delving into material shared with us from Harvey Leake’s impressive personal research and family collection. Harvey Leake is grandson to John Weatherill, trading post operator and purveyor to RBMVE and many others. We visited the Weatherill home museum and archive in 2019. It is time for a second in-depth look at this collection which contains important documentation.

Upcoming Online Programming

– More Native Spotlights
– Digital exhibitions by artists and developers Hans Baumann, Eric Hanson and Ben Benjamin
– 24 Hour Matching Challenge 
– Ongoing Newsletter series
– New Digital Graphic Biography