Eric Walerko joined the Saint Mary’s community in June, becoming the College’s newest archivist. Since then, he has started the task of maintaining materials pertaining to the history of Saint Mary’s from 1844 to the present.“Having an undergraduate degree in history, I always had an interest in a hands-on approach to history and its preservation,” Walerko said. “I was fortunate enough to get a student work position at the [Indiana University South Bend] archives on special collections, which really introduced me to the field.”The Indiana University of South Bend (IUSB) graduate further pursued his education, spending about two and a half years at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and receiving a master’s degree in archival studies there.“Then I had my first position for a nonprofit foundation in Philadelphia,” Walerko said. “And after a few years there, I saw the position open up here at Saint Mary’s, and the opportunity to move back home and work for such a fantastic institution I was familiar with, it was just an opportunity too good to pass up. So, I was very fortunate and was able to join the Saint Mary’s community.”The archives are crucial to safeguarding the identity of Saint Mary’s as a college, Walerko said.“I mean, of course, you have the records management aspect of keeping a paper trail for the routine records of the administration and operating procedures,” he said. “But we’re much more than that. The history we have here has enduring value for generations. It tells everything from the story of the College itself – from a small academy in Bertrand, Michigan turning into the bustling liberal arts college that it is today.”Walerko said many Saint Mary’s alumnae have contacted the archives, hoping to find remnants of their own pasts and those of other relatives.“There’s also a lot of personal connections here, with records connecting students and alumna from generations,” Walerko said. “Every week, we get research requests from the people in the community that are either looking for an ancestor that went here, or maybe even information about themselves that they thought was lost forever … so I think that’s why it’s really important to have functioning archive.”Walerko said he is joined by two student workers who have been assisting him in making the collections more accessible with better labeling and digitization.“As far as my end, I haven’t been able to dive too deeply into the physical processing myself, because there’s still some administrative gaps that I have to fill,” he said. “My first few months have consisted of writing policies and procedures that are critical for running a credible archive … creating forms and templates that will keep the archive functioning smoothly for the day-to-day stuff.”While preparing the archives for student use, Walerko noted he and the student assistants are also making the collections more accessible to the community as a whole.“I have some long-term goals, such as a digital repository for photos, art and documents that will make it possible to pull those up much quicker,” he said. “I also have plans for an online archive management tool that will allow for our collections to be searchable to students online, and … have access to the descriptions of those collections for quicker and easier research.”For now, however, Walerko said he is focusing on establishing the archives as an important and valued resource on campus.“In the short term, I’ve definitely been playing up to the campus’ theme of community this year, trying to connect with different department faculty, administrators and students to kind of get the word out [about] what the archive is and what kind of services we can offer, because it’s very important that people know that we’re here for those functions,” Walerko said.Walerko said he invites anyone pursuing research opportunities or interested in learning more about Saint Mary’s history to stop by the archives, located in Madeleva Hall.“I’d be happy to answer any questions,” Walerko said. “The archive is typically open between nine and four. If the lights are on, I’m probably here. So, feel free to come by and ring the doorbell.”Tags: archives, digitization, Eric Walerko, Saint Mary’s College
Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 8, 2017 Related Shows It’s confirmed! As previously speculated, Cynthia Erivo, who starred in the U.K.’s Menier Chocolate Factory production of The Color Purple as Celie, will reprise her role in the revival on the Great White Way. The John Doyle-helmed show, co-starring Jennifer Hudson as Shug Avery, has also announced dates and theater. The musical will begin performances on November 9 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre and officially open on December 3.Erivo will be making her Broadway debut. Her additional stage credits include Henry IV, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Sister Act, I Can’t Sing and Dessa Rose.The Color Purple features a book by Marsha Norman, lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray and music by Russell and Willis. Based on the novel by Alice Walker, the tuner tells the story of Celie, a woman who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discovers her voice in the world.Doyle’s stripped-down production opened in London on July 15, 2013. The new staging cuts approximately 30 minutes of material from the original incarnation and its producers include Oprah Winfrey.Check out Erivo talking about Celie below. Star Files Cynthia Erivo View Comments The Color Purple Jennifer Hudson
VPT Wins National Awards for Production and OutreachThe National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) honored Vermont Public Television with two awards at their annual conference in Norfolk, Va., last month.VPTs 2006 special Grace Potter and The Nocturnals: Bringin It Home Live won an award in for program production. VPT captured the sold-out concert for television viewers in the fall of 2005 when the Vermont-based group performed in S. Burlington after a national tour. It was VPTs first local high definition production. Producer was Chris McClure. Mike Dunn directed and edited the program. Production funding was provided by the USDA Rural Development.In the outreach category, VPT won an award for its What About Teens? campaign, a statewide effort association with The Voices Project. At sessions around Vermont, teens and adults discussed issues concerning young people and brainstormed solutions that were presented to the Legislature. The campaign finished up with a week-long, multimedia event that gave Vermont teens a voice on public television, public radio, online and in print. VPTs community outreach director, Elizabeth Ottinger, headed the project, which was funded by a grant from the National Center for Outreach. Partners with VPT in the project were ASAP (Association of Student Assistance Professionals) of Vermont, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, Kingdom County Productions, NFI (Northeast Family Institute) Vermont, SRO (School Resource Officer)/Colchester Police Department, Spectrum Youth and Family Services, Vanguard Productions, Vermont Childrens Forum, Vermont Coalition of Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs, Vermont Coalition of Teen Centers and the Young Writers Project.# # #
Due to falling interest rates, it returned 8.1% on its fixed income holdings, which make up almost three-quarters of the overall investment portfolio. Credit and emerging market debt also delivered positive results.Over the first six months of 2014, fixed income holdings returned 18.2%, outperforming the benchmark by a considerable margin, the Stichting Pensioenfonds ING said.Its 17.7% equity holdings generated 5.8% over Q2, with emerging market equities returning 8%.The scheme said the quarterly return on its 4.8% property portfolio was more than 4%, adding that both listed indirect real estate and non-listed property contributed positively.Listed property generated almost 9%.The pension fund’s alternative investments in private equity and hedge funds returned more than 4%.ING attributed the 0.7-percentage-point underperformance largely to the “disappointing” results of hedge funds.Private equity returned almost 7%, it said. The €22bn pension fund of banc-assurer ING has reported a 7.2% return on investments over the second quarter, taking its overall return for the first six months of the year to more than 14%.Its coverage ratio, based on market value, increased by 0.9 percentage points to 129.5% in Q2.However, the scheme’s official funding – discounted against the three-month interest rate average, with the application of the ultimate forward rate – increased by 3.2 percentage points to 139%.The pension fund attributed the quarterly result to low growth and inflation, as well as a central bank policy aimed at promoting growth.
Hank Willis Thomas unveils iconic public artwork in Opa-LockaYesterday evening, award winning artist, Hank Willis Thomas, unveiled his “All Power to All People” public art sculpture in partnership with the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) on the campus of the emerging THRIVE Innovation District.Afro-pick sculptureAt over 800 pounds, the 8-foot-tall afro pick sculpture is cast in aluminum and finished with a high gloss black coating. It boasts stainless steel teeth topped with a clenched fist often associated with strength, unity, and black power. The installation of the work, which uses imagery associated with counterculture and civil rights, comes at a time of social, economic, and racial divide across the America. While Thomas hopes the piece will speak for itself, it highlights ideas of community, strength, perseverance, comradeship and resistance to oppression.History of black AmericansAccording to Thomas, “The city of Opa-locka has a rich history, and I am very glad to be a part of it. The small monument speaks to the history of black Americans. It is a symbolic gesture but a potent one, as the imagery has long been connected to beauty, cultural representation, and self-love.”Located at Town Center Apartments, an affordable housing development for the elderly built in 2014, as a collaboration between OLCDC and Related Urban Development Group, “All Power to All People” is the latest work of art to be displayed in Opa-locka. It joins another public artwork, “Opa-Tisha Locka-Wocka,” by South Florida artist Gary Moore designed for Town Center.Creative placemaking and the artsWhile the OLCDC has a rich and long history in affordable housing and community building, it is also working to redevelop the neighborhood through creative place-making and the arts. Over the past five years, it has partnered with nationally renowned artists such as Renee Cox, Walter Hood, Ebony G. Patterson, Dread Scott and Nari Ward to bring cultural education, arts interventions, and exhibitions to local residents.In 2014, OLCDC even purchased and renovated an old warehouse to become The ARC, Opa-locka’s first cultural community facility to help revitalize downtown Opa-locka.“Art expands our capacity to perceive, understand and represent the world, which is why we’re committed to building up our community through cultural activities and public art such as this one. It is my hope that this piece will incite residents to think further about what this symbol represents to them, their community and the world,” says Dr. Willie Logan, OLCDC President/CEO.About Hank Willis ThomasThe New York native is an accomplished conceptual artist. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Africana studies, Master of Fine Arts and Master of Arts in Photography and Visual criticism, and a Honorary Doctorate in Visual Arts, Thomas’ works primarily incorporate art related to identity, history and popular culture. His domestic and international exhibitions were included at the International Center of Photography, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Musée du quai Branly, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Moreover, his artist-run super PAC, For Freedoms was the recipient of the International Center of Photography’s 2017 Infinity Award for New Media and Online Platform. Thomas is also the recipient of the 2017 Soros Equality Fellowship.About the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC)Established in November 1980, OLCDC is a non-profit community development corporation established to address the distressed unemployment conditions, particularly in the Opa-locka and North Miami-Dade County, Florida, communities. Its primary mission is to transform under-resourced communities into vibrant, desirable, engaged neighborhoods by improving access to health, education, employment, art, safety and affordable housing.