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Acclaimed artist, WSU art professor to show work in latest DrewBoy Creative show

Doug Gast.Douglas Gast has lived all over the place. But in the Tri-Cities, the acclaimed artist and art professor has found a good fit.

“It’s a great community—the perfect size. It’s experiencing growth, something that means possibility,” he said.

Part of that growth is in the local art scene, which is particularly exciting for Gast, who is an associate professor of fine arts at WSU Tri-Cities and administers the bachelor of fine arts and Digital Technology & Culture programs.

Gast is contributing to the scene by taking part Friday in the latest show at DrewBoy Creative gallery in Richland.

His own personal artwork aims to “identify and make use of the elements of the media that are fundamental to its definition” and create “physical and conceptual spaces where thought and communication can occur,” according to his artist statement.

His work is designed to be “thought through, instead of being thought of. It calls into question a variety of controversial socio-political situations.”

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Professor’s radio art supports women broadcasters in Africa

BarberWomen broadcasters in Zambia and Zimbabwe, Africa, are sharing their traditional culture via radio art with the help of radio artists from 17 countries, including John Barber, clinical associate professor in the Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver.

Although they share the Tonga history and culture, Zambia and Zimbabwe are divided geographically by a large man-made lake, Lake Kariba, which makes up much of the border between the two countries. A new CD compilation that includes Barber‘s radio art work “Zambezi River Bridge” is helping to connect them.

“Zambezi River Bridge” was selected to be part of “A Radio Bridge Across the Zambezi,” a CD to be sold on the popular online sound-sharing platform BandCamp. All proceeds from online sales will benefit Zongwe FM, a community radio station in Sinazongwe, Zambia, and the women of Zubo Trust across the Zambezi River in Binga, Zimbabwe.

 

In late 1950, the Zambezi River valley was flooded as water gathered behind the Kariba Dam. The BaTonga people lost their ancestral land along the banks of the Zambezi and were forced to move. Today, Lake Kariba divides the Tonga community, and Zongwe FM radio provides not only a means of communication but also self-help, organization and cultural survival.

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WSU Insider

‘Wonder Woman’ — Turning obstacles into opportunities

If life experience were an academic program, Natalie Ewing would already have her master’s degree.

Natalie Ewing.Like many other nontraditional students, Ewing encountered her share of detours and unexpected turns along the path to college. She grew up amid drugs, alcohol, physical and emotional abuse. Today, Ewing is a digital technology and culture, and social science major at WSU Vancouver. A scholarship helped her afford the college experience.

In 2015, she went back to school. It took three terms, many advising appointments and lots of tears to get her footing as a nontraditional college student. But Ewing was determined to have “a real college experience.”

She joined clubs, attended events and volunteered. “I never thought that I would be a true-blue college student, but here I am,” she said proudly.

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WSU Insider

Bringing the past into the future: Huna Heritage Foundation debuts online archive

It’s been the mission of the Huna Heritage Foundation (HHF) to perpetuate the Huna Tlingit culture and promote education for future generations, and it plans to do both of those things with the launch of its digital archive.

Kimberly Christen
Christen

One of the challenges HHF faced was finding a platform that met its needs. While it’s HHF’s goal to share pieces of culture and history, some information should only be accessible to certain people or groups, said HHF Executive Director Amelia Wilson. It’s HHF’s goal to not only host photos but to eventually have audio and video recordings as well, but some of that might be sensitive material — like clan songs, owned by a clan, which would only be made available to people inside that clan. HHF settled on the open source platform and content management system called Mukurtu. It was developed by Dr. Kimberly Christen of Washington State University to meet the archival needs of an indigenous group in Australia, Wilson said.

“This software is grassroots, community driven, and (a) customizable site that would allow us to draw upon our Hoonah cultural protocols to direct our access levels,” she said.

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Capital City Weekly

Juneau Empire

Vancouver group steps up to keep ‘A Radio Christmas Carol’ on the air

The golden age of radio gets newer all the time.

For years now, the Kiggins Theatre and Re-Imagined Radio, a Washington State University Vancouver project, have been reviving the bygone era when families gathered around a grand wooden box in the living room to listen.

So, local radio-drama lovers nearly slipped on a banana peel upon hearing that, for the first time in years, Portland’s busy Willamette Radio Workshop won’t perform its annual holiday classic “A Radio Christmas Carol” at the Kiggins this year.

John Barber
Barber

“We couldn’t find a time that worked for everyone,” said John Barber, who has steered Re-Imagined Radio as a faculty member in the creative media and digital culture department at WSUV. “It was a challenge we just couldn’t solve.”

But Kiggins owner Dan Wyatt recalled that Vancouver’s own Metropolitan Performing Arts group recently shone during a live reading of the script “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” at a Harry Potter festival. Turning to Metropolitan to carry on the radio-drama tradition seemed like the perfect way to transform a loss into a win, Barber said.

“Let’s go a little more grassroots than before,” he thought. “Why have this event in Vancouver and bring in the entertainment from afar?” The idea of developing a local stable of voice actors and sound-effects specialists “is quite exciting when you think about all the ways it could go,” he said.

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The Columbian