UT RTF professor data Barton Creek’s historical past with new web site

Radio-Tv-Movie professor Karen Kocher created the Barton Creek Time Stream, a multimedia instructional web site devoted to telling the historical past of Barton Creek’s conservation efforts.

Kocher’s portfolio, one will discover many tasks devoted to Austin’s historical past, particularly Barton Creek. Kocher mentioned she thinks of Barton Creek as “a singular, wonderful useful resource” threatened by the town’s progress. 

She described {a photograph} the place the lights from the town’s skyscrapers mirror off the spring’s floor. “On the identical time, (it’s) stunning and scary,” Kocher mentioned. “You possibly can really feel the presence of the expansion of Austin weighing on that pool. That {photograph} actually encapsulates that.”

Kocher mentioned her documentary work protecting Barton Creek began in 1997, curating the “first instructional set up” on the Beverly S. Sheffield Schooling Middle. Returning to the exhibit in 2010, she mentioned no modifications had been made to the exhibit’s content material whereas she labored on different tasks.  

“I used to be actually shocked that they had been exhibiting the identical movie that had been exhibiting since 1997,” Kocher mentioned. “I used to be like, ‘Oh my gosh, this place has so many extra tales to inform.’ Mainly, the springs contact every little thing — the historical past, science and tradition of Austin.”

Kocher mentioned she didn’t need her workforce’s further analysis to go to waste after finishing the up to date exhibit on the training heart. She mentioned she put what she couldn’t match within the exhibit on a web site, which grew to become the Barton Creek Time Stream. The web site offers a number of methods to discover the historical past of Barton Creek, together with a timeline and a map. 

“Multimedia permits you to assault a narrative from many various angles,” Kocher mentioned. “When you’re doing a documentary, you may have a major character, and also you need it to be story-driven. Multimedia is a method to make a extra inclusive sort of story as a result of you’ll be able to embody many individuals’s tales.”

Kocher mentioned environmental science academics in Austin Unbiased College District use the Barton Creek Time Stream and its included lesson plans, encouraging college students to dive deep into the web site’s timeline and related occasions. She mentioned college districts within the San Antonio space additionally use her curriculum.

“I hope (the scholars) understand the sustained effort that went into creating the belongings we have now in Austin,” Kocher mentioned. “It didn’t simply form of occur. It was a gaggle of those that made it occur.”

Kocher mentioned her analysis for the Barton Creek Time Stream will contribute to her subsequent challenge, which dives into the historical past of the Barton Creek Greenbelt.

Pat Gordon-Brodnax, the managing director of Save Our Springs Alliance, mentioned training is crucial to conserving Barton Creek. She mentioned SOS Alliance runs Barton Springs College, a year-long program culminating in Barton Springs College Day, which incorporates audio system and snorkeling excursions.

Gordon-Brodnax mentioned she hopes Barton Springs College and different instructional assets encourage the subsequent era to grow to be “environmental stewards and activists” in an article she wrote for Austin Girl Journal.

RTF professor Ya’Ke Smith displays on Juneteenth, anniversary of his documentary concerning the vacation

“Juneteenth: Religion & Freedom,” directed by Radio-Tv-Movie professor Ya’Ke Smith, was launched final June to assist viewers perceive the story of Juneteenth.

In June 2021, Smith wrote about Juneteenth in a pamphlet for the devotion article publication Voices, a subsidiary of Our Every day Bread, shortly after President Joe Biden signed a legislation making Juneteenth a federal vacation. After the article was printed, Smith mentioned Our Every day Bread approached him eager to create a Juneteenth documentary. A collaboration started between Smith and Rasool Berry, the producer and face of the documentary. 

Smith mentioned he was instantly struck by the concept of making a documentary centered round Juneteenth, because it had at all times been an integral a part of his life.

“My household’s from Texas and we’ve at all times celebrated Juneteenth,” Smith mentioned. “We’d have household reunions centered round Juneteenth, there have been Juneteenth parades. There was at all times a way that Juneteenth was a really, crucial day for us as Black individuals in Texas. So when he requested me to do it, I used to be like, ‘After all’ as a result of I perceive it very intimately. And I need to be part of the legacy and historical past of Juneteenth.”

With Juneteenth now a federal vacation, Smith mentioned there’s an assumption everybody is aware of the vacation’s objective, however there’s truly a substantial training hole on the topic.

Layton Fields, a communication and management sophomore, mentioned she took it upon herself to be taught concerning the vacation and that the documentary was eye-opening.

“The principle factor I realized was after they have been speaking about how there have been slave Bibles, and it blacked out like all the components (that) would assume that there have been individuals of different cultures within the Bible, and mainly made it so the white individuals have been the saviors,” Fields mentioned.

Since Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of all enslaved individuals after the previous few in Texas realized of their freedom, Sharon Obinna, a speech, language, and listening to sciences sophomore, mentioned the tutorial hole could also be region-based.

“I really feel like numerous Black Individuals … learn about Juneteenth, after which possibly after they go away Texas, they realized that it’s probably not a giant deal in different areas,” Obinna mentioned.

Smith’s documentary was shot in about six days, and manufacturing took about six months. Smith mentioned the group would generally commute from Houston to Dallas in in the future for back-to-back interviews, which was very difficult. However the post-production course of was much more grueling since Smith needed to repeatedly hear the traumatic narratives.

Regardless of the arduous course of, Smith mentioned his targets for the movie have been met, and he continues to speak about Juneteenth and taking part in celebrations.

“I believe that there’s at all times been a spirit of celebration across the Juneteenth vacation. And there’s at all times been an understanding that we should proceed to speak about this historical past,” Smith mentioned. “We should proceed to inform our youngsters about this historical past. And we should proceed to know that this historical past once more, it’s not simply necessary, however it’s a roadmap for the methods through which we will proceed combating now.”