Luther College looks to the community to preserve this moment in history

Luther College is collecting COVID-19 related materials to archive this historic time

The current COVID-19 pandemic has completely shifted the way people, locally and across the world, live. It is a time like none other and now Luther College is working to preserve this moment in history for future generations with the help of the local community. Hayley Jackson, college archivist at Luther, is spearheading this project.

Example submission: Home sewn face masks

“There are no limits to what you can contribute. We are looking for pictures of the neighborhood or at-home work and study spaces, screenshots of a Zoom meeting, social media posts about what you did on a certain day, a recipe for that new sourdough starter you’re keeping alive, a shopping list, a video of yourself or a loved one talking about life during this pandemic–all of these would be important contributions and help tell the story of our community during this time. Nothing is too insignificant, so be creative,” said Jackson. “These types of materials are some of the most visceral ways people connect with history.”

Jackson’s job is to preserve the institution’s history and that includes taking a look at what is happening today to determine what could be of interest 20, 50 or 100 years from now.

“There are times where it can be hard to predict what might be of historical interest down the road. In this case, there is no doubt that this global pandemic will be of great interest,” said Jackson.

To make a digital submission visit https://www.luther.edu/archives/donate/covid19/. To make a physical contribution, mail it to: Preus Library 310 – Upper Floor, Luther College, 700 College Dr. Decorah, IA 52101. Physical submissions can also be brought to Preus Library after social distancing directives have been lifted. These donations will become part of physical and digital collections within the Luther College Archives, where they will be preserved and available for research.

Example submission: Sourdough starter

“One of the most exciting parts about this project is that it offers our students and community members the chance to contribute directly to the historical narrative. It’s a chance to tell their story, to say ‘I was here, this is what I experienced.’ Every story is worth preserving,” said Jackson. “Participants of this project are living purposefully because they are contributing to a project where benefits won’t be realized for several years. By choosing to participate, people are recognizing that they have something to offer that might help future researchers. They’re intentionally contributing to something larger than themselves, hoping that it helps society down the road.”

If you have any questions, contact Jackson at jackha01@luther.edu.

Luther College is home to more than 1,900 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.

 

Luther College Ministries hosts non-profit, Music That Makes Community

Luther College Ministries hosts non-profit, Music That Makes Community

Events are open to the public to bring communities closer through song

 

DECORAH, Iowa – From Feb. 27 to 29, Luther College Ministries will be hosting Music That Makes Community, a national non-profit group focused on community singing and song leading.

Music That Makes Community will hold several events during their residency for the Luther and Decorah Communities. Centered around group singing, they hope to create deeper connections among people and their communities.

To kick off their residency, leaders of Music That Makes Community will lead the Luther College Chapel service at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 28, in the Main Hall of the Center for Faith and Life. It will be followed by an afternoon of workshops with Luther music students. From 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, in Shirley Baker Commons on Luther’s campus, the public is invited to participate in song and a potluck.

On Saturday, Feb. 29, Music that Makes Community will hold a one-day workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for those interested in learning to improve their paperless and group song leading skills. Advanced registration for this event is required. Tuition costs will range from $35 to $100. Scholarships are available for students. Visit www.musicthatmakescommunity.org/residency_at_luther_college to register. For more information contact vicaramalia@luther.edu.

“Luther College and Decorah are places known as community centers and spaces of music and singing. We’re a natural fit with the national movement being led by Music that Makes Community,” said Vicar Amalia Vagts, Luther College Ministries intern. “People understand the power that simple singing can have in a community – we’ve seen it at vigils and in homes. Many in our community are interested in more experience with this ancient form of singing, and those who are leaders are eager for the chance to learn real tools that make song leading effective and invitational.”

Music That Makes Community is a nonprofit organization that works to help people connect and learn through singing. They do this by teaching the practice of paperless song leading. Paperless singing is grounded in a theology of welcome and generosity for the benefit of musicians, clergy, congregations, students and others interested in using the practice to enrich their worship and community lives.

“It is wonderful to witness the resurgence of oral tradition singing in churches and other faith communities. While retaining hymnals and other beloved forms of music-making, congregations are adding in this simple, accessible, ancient tool for learning songs that are short and easy enough that they can be learned quickly and remembered collectively,” says Liz Rog, a Decorah community song leader who has helped in planning this special event.

“I’m most excited about the opportunity for Luther students to learn alongside and make connections with community members. I’m very much looking forward to the training for myself, too, and to bringing my whole family to the community sing and potluck,” said Luther pastor, Annie Edison-Albright. “There’s nothing like the experience of being surrounded by music at a singing event; it’s good for the soul.”

This residency is hosted by College Ministries in partnership with the Luther music department, the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement, the Nena Amundson Lifetime Wellness Program, Pleasant Valley Villagers, area congregations, Decorah Bank and Trust and Viking State Bank.

Luther College is home to more than 1,900 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.

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