2024 First Quarter News Updates

Feb 7, 2024

Read the latest e-bulletin published February 6, 2024 here!

This e-bulletin includes a welcome from our new Board Chair Halle Butvin, updates on summer opportunities, and more.

Dear Local Learning Community,

I’m excited to begin 2024 as the new Chair of the Local Learning Board of Directors. On behalf of our team, I extend gratitude to Doug Blandy, our previous Chair, for his dedicated service.

Currently, I serve as the Director of Special Projects at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, leading the Cultural Vitality Program. Our collaboration with communities globally focuses on maintaining languages and cultural practices for social and economic well-being. We share best practices through convenings and Smithsonian platforms. Effectively communicating the process and impact of our work, both at the Center and at Local Learning, can be challenging.

Last year, the Local Learning team convened in Chicago for a retreat to develop a new strategic plan, aligning with Local Learning’s people-centered and process-oriented approach. For me, the experience clarified that our process, an inquiry-based ethnographic process engaging folklorists, educators, and artists, holds the key for transformational change in our communities, our schools, and our country. More engaged learners develop the skills to understand themselves and others. It is a simple, radical concept.

Please join us in this new chapter as we embark on efforts in research, expanded programming, and widening our reach of this critical work.

Halle Butvin