Dell'Arte International's rural residency program has adapted itself for the times. The 10-day program normally sees Dell’Arte students living and camping in a rural community, engaging in a cultural and artistic exchange with residents. However, in light of COVID-19 and the need for physical distancing, this year's program will take to social media to carry out its mission.
Wingspan Media, submitted
From the 2019 Rural Residency.
According to a press release from Dell'Arte International, this year, instead of camping on the Wiyot Tribe’s Table Bluff reservation as participants have the last two years, Dell’Arte’s Professional Training Program students will engage with members of the tribe remotely, with a focus on learning Soulatluk
, the Wiyot language. Additionally, some of the program's online offerings will include digital workshops for kids on clowning, juggling and physical comedy, as well as a food recipe exchange via video.
Read the full press release below:
Dell’Arte-Wiyot Virtual Rural Residency to Focus on Language Learning
BLUE LAKE, CA – Traditionally a 10-day program where Dell’Arte students live and camp in a rural community and engage in a cultural and artistic exchange with residents, this year’s Rural Residency will be a little different. This year students will engage with the Wiyot community remotely with a focus on learning Soulatluk, or the Wiyot language.
With Covid-19 creating the need for physical distancing, instead of camping on the Wiyot Tribe’s Table Bluff reservation as they have the last two years, Dell’Arte’s Professional Training Program students will engage with members of the Tribe via social media channels and other digital pathways May 18-29. In collaboration with tribal linguist Lynnika Butler, students have proposed ideas like creating animation GIFs that illustrate Wiyot words and can be used for language learning online. For more information on the tribe’s language learning resources, please visit https://www.wiyot.us/157/Language.
Students are also working with Wiyot Cultural Director Ted Hernandez and Tribal Administrator Michelle Vassel in creating a menu of educational and entertaining online offerings such as digital workshops for kids on clowning, juggling and physical comedy, as well as a food recipe exchange via video.
“We call this particular engagement ‘Rural Residency,’ but the truth is that Dell’Arte has always been in residency on Wiyot land,” says Pratik Motwani, lead faculty of the Rural Residency Program, noting that the D’A building resides on unceded ancestral territory of the Wiyot people.
“I am grateful for their stewardship of this land and for the generosity of the members of the Wiyot Tribe at Table Bluff for sharing with us the knowledge, wisdom and power that they carry. There is so much for us to reflect on, act on, undo and unlearn from this exchange, for ourselves, for our institutions and from our history.”
This year’s PTP students, participating in this 14th year of Rural Residency, come from Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Denmark, Greece, Hong Kong and the United States.
Wiyot ancestral lands extend from Little River to the north, Bear River Ridge to the south, and inland to Chalk Mountain and Berry Summit. This area was home to the Wiyot for thousands of years prior to European settlement, and includes the entire Humboldt Bay region and associated waterways. More information on the Wiyot Tribe can be found at www.wiyot.us.
The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre offers the only accredited MFA in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre in the world. Its training programs attract students from across the globe, with more than 1,000 graduates from 41 countries since the formation of the school in 1975. It is one of three institutions of higher education in Humboldt County, along with Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods.