ENGAGE YOUR STUDENTS ACROSS DISCIPLINES, SPRING SEMESTER 2018
Looking Past Skin: Refocusing Immigration, Agriculture, and Our Well Being, An Interactive Exhibit @ The Nebraska History Museum (3rd Floor), Spring 2018
Rural communities are experiencing deep demographic shifts driven by the opening of large agriculture businesses across Nebraska. Ground zero is in Lexington, Nebraska. Lexington is one of two Nebraska cities that has seen an entire demographic shift (97% minority population) over the past 15 years. The Minority Health Disparities Initiative team has remained committed to building long-term relationships with the Lexington community. Looking Past Skin: Refocusing Immigration, Agriculture, & Our Well-being (working title) is heavily influenced by the contributions of the Lexington community. The exhibit works at intersections of several research and community projects in Lexington: (1) Photovoice study – a community-generated art/advocacy photo-documentary project; (2) a 325 household survey on social determinants and well-being; (3) revamping the high school health curriculum into a processed-based learning experience where students present public health campaigns at community health fairs now held on their campus bi-annually; (4) a variety of qualitative interviews on minority health disparities conducted over the past two years. Looking Past Skin is an evidence-based art exhibition that is part of a larger effort to wed art to research. The exhibition is composed of two elements that together aim at reaching a broader audience across the state and allowing viewers to question their perceptions on immigration, agriculture, and community well-being. The exhibit consists of two art installations UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA LINCOLN HealthVoiceVision & Looking Past Skin is funded by designed to be complementary or independent depending on the venue: (1) Refocusing Agriculture, Immigration & Our Well-being; and (2) “Ask a Doctor?”.
Lexington Photovoice Project: A Wall of Insight juxtaposes the contemporary ‘face’ of Nebraska immigration today with historical images of Dawson County’s original European pioneers. All of the current images and narratives are generated by the residents of Lexington through a structured Photovoice process conducted in spring 2017; Lexington Photovoice Project: A Wall of Insight is the “voice” of the community told visually and in conjunction with results of data collected in the research sample (late summer 2017).
"Ask a Doctor?" is an interactive installation dedicated to translating mixed methods rural research into art; art that generates dialogue about the community health in small agriculture-based towns with high immigrant populations. Both installations—Refocusing Agriculture, Immigration & Our Well-being; and “Ask a Doctor?”—create the larger exhibit of Looking Past Skin: Refocusing Immigration, Agriculture, & Our Well-being. Looking Past Skin is the community engagement arm of a larger Rural Futures Institute (RFI) funded HealthVoiceVision research initiative in rural Nebraska.
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Looking Past skin partners include: UNL Extension, Dawson County Historical Museum, Rural Futures Institute, Humanities Nebraska, and the Minority Health Disparities Initiative.