WVU Graphic DesignThe WVU Design for Social Impact course has partnered with Scotts Run since 2011, fulfilling an important rule in working with communities, which is to keep a sustained presence. In doing so, our relationship has the benefit of trust and genuine shared communication.
About the partnership
We began our time together partnering with the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center and Ron Dulaney of the Davis College at WVU to hold a set of Visioning meetings with the 13 communities of Scott Run, former coal camps dating to the 1920s. Among the dreams they had for their area were to reopen the Museum and Park, and to pass on their stories and values to the next generation. Eve Faulkes captured the vision in a brochure and identity that the community could use to present to potential partners, donors and grant applications.
In 2012, the Design for Social Impact class worked with the Osage Community to meet several of the goals, beginning by earning trust through painting and repairing nine buildings in preparation for their annual Street Fair. After that event the class worked with the group to turn a former business space into a museum, create a folder and data sheet set for presenting ideas, and make editions of 13 handbound books designed from community interviews that told short stories.
Each year since then a new class has added to the Street Fair and Museum offerings, adding a trail of interpretive signs, an arts collaborative of sewing activity, doll houses designed on the plans of coal camp houses, commissioned folk songs that told important stories of the area, special exhibits, a 5k fundraiser, community garden with signs telling local stories about food, a mural, package design and 19-track CD that narrated and collected Songs from and about the area, live performances of the Songs and Stories of Scotts Run in the local Metropolitan Theatre and outdoor Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheatre, and designed a set of Children’s books posters and t-shirts with epigrams from the community values. We have also designed a web site and social media for the Scotts Run Museum and Trail.
Our collaboration has been presented at national and international design conferences, including a national conference put on in March of 2019 that explored projects that crossed divides in our society (see Designing Across Divides tab). We have also attracted the attention of the WV Division of Culture and History, brought visitors from across the United States to the Museum, and Professor Faulkes was this year given the Civil Rights award from the Governor’s office.