Artist Heather McMordie launched the Providence Community Herbarium project to explore the relationships twelve Providence residents have with plants. Weaving these stories with artwork and local ecology, this initiative has fostered community as well as appreciation for plant life beyond scientific analysis. In this episode of the Bruno Brief, we learn more about the details of this story and fill you in on other important stories from the week.
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Welcome back to the Bruno Brief, I’m Amanda Sun, a BDH Studios producer for the Bruno Brief. On this week’s episode we spoke with Julia Vaz, metro editor, and Kaiolena Tacazon, multimedia editor, about their reporting on how the Providence Community Herbarium project came to be — and how it encompasses plant life, community and creativity.
Artist Heather McMordie collected narratives from twelve Providence residents on their connection to plants as part of the project. Collaborators documented the ways plants have personally impacted their lives and worldviews, cultivating an appreciation for plants beyond their scientific properties. Last week, Julia and Kaiolena visited McMordie in her studio as she began working with these residents to create prints inspired by their stories.
So Julia, can you tell me a little bit about the basics of this story?
The story is about this project called the Providence Community Herbarium. The idea for the project is to invite collaborators, around providence and North Providence to share their plant stories, and then use their stories as inspiration to produce a series of prints. Heather McMordie, who’s the artist behind the project, her idea basically, is to kind of invite people to create a relationship with plants that is not just purely scientific, but is more intimate. And it's very focused on storytelling.
Who did you talk to? And what did they say?
The interviews for this story was kind of like this kind of rare situation, where we got to be on the ground and visit the artist's studio, on the day that she was inviting basically all of her collaborators on the project to just go there and work on the print.
And Kaiolena, can you talk about the photographs incorporated into this story? Why did you decide this story would be a good fit for multimedia reporting?
This herbarium, community artistry, fits really well with multimedia, because the space that we explored with it being Heather's studio, the main artist, we really got to see and understand the process of physically how these prints are being made. So she's creating this long series of many collaborators' works and making multiple prints out of them. Being in the space, being able to take video and photo of what they were doing, you get a little bit of insight into the process of what creating prints really looks like. So being able to photograph them and video them allows our readers to get an insight into what this project looks like, not only as their final products, but in the creation as well.
Julia and Kaiolena, thank you so much for coming in.
Thank you so much to the Bruno Brief for having me on today.
Thank you so much for having me on the Bruno Brief.
Now here is a recap of other news from the past week.
Last Saturday Oct. 21, over 150 students marched down College Hill and joined hundreds of community members and activists. The “All Out for Palestine” rally condemned Israel for its continued use of force following the recent escalation of violence in Gaza and criticized U.S. military aid to Israel.
In other news, Brown University’s Corporation, which is its highest governing body, and the Lifespan Health System’s board of directors each separately voted this month on a “new nonbinding term sheet” to extend and expand their existing partnership. The current contract with Lifespan, a Rhode Island-based hospital and health system, expires at the end of this year. The agreement follows two other arrangements the University has made with Rhode Island hospital systems in the last two years, and it will not affect Brown’s affiliations with other health institutions.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management announced that the state has reached its target of achieving a 10% reduction from 1990 greenhouse gas emission levels by 2020, as determined by DEM air quality specialists. But, this reduction does not necessarily signify future reductions since the numbers were gathered during the 2020 COVID-19 shutdown. In fact, the DEM predicts a rebound in the 2021 greenhouse gas inventory numbers, which will be released in 2024.
Finally, following the Task Force on the Status of Women Faculty’s spring report, the University has appointed a team for implementation of the task force’s recommendations. The team will target issues including the underrepresentation of women faculty and develop plans to bolster current access to childcare for all faculty.
Thanks again for tuning into the seventh episode of this season of the Bruno Brief. This episode was produced by me, Amanda Sun, Jacob Smollen and Finn Kirkpatrick, edited by Julia Gallent, Hayal Lily Karakus and Christine Okulo, and scripted by Grace Hu. If you like what you hear, subscribe to The Bruno Brief wherever you get your podcasts and leave a review. And be sure to check out our new podcast series “On The Green.”
Thanks for listening. We'll see you next week.
Denzel Sprak: https://app.sessions.blue/browse/track/203142