Rhodes College senior Annie Herman on her plans to mobilize Memphis’ Spanish-speaking community–online and off.
Do you “Instagram”….or have you always wanted to learn? I hope you will join me this Saturday November 2nd at the Brooks for the Día de los Muertos Community Day celebration. My name is Annie Herman and I am a fellow at the Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts (CODA) at Rhodes College. The Center aims to foster leadership, vision, and innovative thinking in Rhodes students with a passion for the fine arts. CODA fellows complete ten hours of community service each week in the Memphis Community related to arts outreach.
Utilizing the social media tool “Instagram”, we will be using the tags “#BrooksDia” and “#CODARhodes” to create a unique real-time photography exhibition of the Dia de los Muertos Community Day celebration. Attendees can help out by joining forces and capturing images of the days’ events on their smartphones and then sharing these shots on Instagram. Rhodes College student volunteers will be joining me to answer your Instagram questions and help create the live feed. These students, all currently enrolled in Professor Elizabeth Pettinaroli’s upper level Spanish Literature classes at Rhodes, will be wearing special # BrooksDia T-shirts. We all look forward to interacting with Community Day participants and helping to create this real-time event.
I would like to thank the Brooks for making Saturday’s Instagram exhibition possible. I would also like to take a moment to invite the Brooks community to join me for my next CODA arts outreach project, a photography exhibition entitled Memphis Through The Lens, that I am planning for next spring.
I first coined the title “Memphis through the Lens” in 2010 when I arrived at Rhodes as a first-year student and created a photography exhibit aimed at bridging the arts and athletics. Some of my CODA peers had volunteered at Lester Middle School and helped the students learn photography over the course of the school year. I then worked with the Memphis Redbirds to mount a photography exhibit showcasing the students’ work at AutoZone Park. Students and their families were honored at the opening of the exhibit and were also invited to be special guests at a Memphis Redbirds game. Community members also had a chance to directly interact with the middle school students and view their photographs.
I am planning to launch a similar photography initiative this spring with the assistance of Memphians within the local Hispanic community. Digital cameras will be loaned out over several days and project participants will be asked to capture images of their daily lives at work, school, and home. Participants will share their photos and insights in interviews conducted by Rhodes College Spanish language students. A panel of guest judges will then meet with the student interviewers and select photographs to be featured in the exhibition.
I am hopeful that the planned exhibition will provide the greater Memphis community with a unique glimpse into the lives of selected Memphians within the local Hispanic community. I also look forward to the interviews between Rhodes students and community members. It is my hope that these interviews provide students with an opportunity to step outside the classroom and practice their Spanish language skills while interacting with local community members.
Community members can visit the #BrooksDia informational table at this Saturday’s celebration to pick up a flyer or sign up to receive more information about the upcoming Memphis Through The Lens exhibition. Additional information may also be obtained by contacting me directly at