Abenaki COVID-19 Storytelling Blog

Check back periodically for updates. Posts are listed chronologically with the most recent at the top of the page.

Links to other Storytelling Project Pages:

Image of Call to Artists button with link to more information.
Image of button for About the Abenaki Storytelling Project and link..
Image of memory booth logo and link to Memory Booth Events page..
Image of news room button with link to news room page.

October 13, 2022

Image of the word ART with colored background and artists tools.
Call to Artists!

The impact of COVID-19 has been felt all over N’dakinna (our homeland) for over three years. Now we have an opportunity for Native American visual and performing artists to create and share artwork that expresses their response to the pandemic experience. 

We are looking for Abenaki or Native American artists, musicians, and community members who can help to express the impact of this pandemic on ourselves, our families and community, through visual or performing arts, or simply sharing stories of personal experience and perceptions about the the COVID-19 global pandemic, vaccines, disparities, and access. 

Sponsored by the Vermont Department of Health.

September 28, 2022

As we get closer to our project goals of understanding the Abenaki experiences with COVID-19, vaccines, disparities and access in Vermont and the surrounding environs, we can’t help but think about all of the work ahead of us. The stories and artwork we are collecting will be shared publicly through an online exhibit and a traveling museum exhibit in 2023.

With that in mind, we are continuing to collect stories and artwork at Abenaki Storytelling Projects Memory Booth events. More will be announced soon!

September 15, 2022

September was an interesting month for us. With the beginning of the Fall semester, we bid farewll to our summer intern from Middlebury College. Over the summer, Faith provided invaluable support for this project as our Creative Digital Media Intern. I will definitely miss our weekly meetings. The good news is she will stay on with VAAA as a volunteer through the school year.

Picture of people sitting at tables making art. Blond haired woman standing in the background and trees.

Faith interacting with Abenaki Storytelling Project Memory Booth visitors. Nulhegan Gathering in Benson, VT.

September 2, 2022

We will be hosting the Memory Booth at the 3rd Annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day Rocks! in Stowe, VT on October 8, 2022 from 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM. If you haven’t already shared your experiences with us, this is a great opportunity to do so. The event will take place at the Stowe Events Field.

The Memory Booth is a place where Abenaki people can create artwork and tell their stories to promote health and wellness. This year, we are processing our thoughts and feelings about the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines, disparities, and access.

Individuals who participate in the Memory Booth may select their choice of either an I support the Abenaki t-shirt or insulated drink cup. There are monetary incentives available for one-on-one storytelling or focus group storytelling sessions.

August 18, 2022

Today, someone asked me about how the Abenaki Storytelling Project was going and what stage we were in. I described it as being a brand new pile of Legos being poured out of the box. There are so many aspects to this project and individual experiences with COVID-19 and vaccines. We are actively collecting stories and artwork. There are a lot of layers and textures for us to organize as time goes on, but it will be worth it in the end when we create the final exhibit that shares the Abenaki experience through storytelling and art.

Join us on Saturday, in Benson, VT at the Nulhegan Abenaki Gathering. Tell Your Story!

July 11, 2022

Are their incentives for participating in the Abenaki COVID-19 Storytelling Project Memory Booth?

Recently, we were asked if there are any incentives for participating in Abenaki COVID-19 Storytelling Project Memory Booth. Individuals who participate in the Memory Booth may select their choice of either an I support the Abenaki t-shirt or insulated drink cup. There are monetary incentives available for one-on-one storytelling or focus group storytelling sessions.

– incentive for participation in the Abenaki Storytelling Project

T-shirt – incentive for participation in the Abenaki Storytelling Project

June 20, 2022

A crowd gathered around the memory booth at the Abenaki Heritage Weekend.

VAAA’s Executive Director Vera Longtoe Sheehan did a presentation about the Abenaki COVID-19 Storytelling Project at the annual at the Abenaki Heritage Weekend, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, VT. After the presentation people flocked over to the Memory Booth seeking more information. We collected stories and artwork from more than 18 Native American people!

June 13, 2022

Logo for the Abenaki Storytelling Project’s Memory Booth

The VAAA Storytelling Project will be hosting a Memory Booth at various community events around N’Dakinna (our homeland). The Memory Booth is a place where Abenaki people can create artwork and tell their stories to promote health and wellness. This year, we are processing our thoughts and feelings about the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines, disparities, and access.

VAAA will have a Memory Booth set up at our annual Abenaki Heritage Weekend on June 18-19, 2022. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

Look for a Memory Booth near you.

June 5, 2022

Like everyone else in the world, the Abenaki community has been greatly affected by the global pandemic and the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association is no exception. VAAA’s Abenaki Storytelling project will “allow us to explore this period of our history in a way that hasn’t been done before. Abenakis will tell and interpret their own experience about the pandemic and vaccination intake,” says VAAA Executive Director Vera Longtoe Sheehan.

May 15, 2022

What is the Abenaki Storytelling Project?

The Abenaki Storytelling Project is a community-based arts and storytelling project that focuses on Native American strength and resiliency. The project is led by Vermont Abenaki Artists Association (VAAA), a Native American arts organization that serves the public by connecting them to Abenaki educators and artists from the visual, performing, and literary arts. VAAA has  special expertise in working with Abenaki artists and incorporating their arts and storytelling into public programs, cultural events, and museum exhibitions. VAAA uses insights from Native American arts and storytelling to uplift Abenaki voices and perspectives in the interpretation of museum exhibitions, education resources, and in health equity.

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