Workshop to offer tips on collecting memories

The Community Media Center in Westminster will have a History Project Interviewing Workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Emmy Award-winning independent producer Leo Eaton will be the guest teacher for this workshop for local residents interested in collecting memories for the Carroll County History Project. Attendees will learn the best practices for interviewing a subject on camera.

Sherry Taylor, marketing director at the Community Media Center, said the Carroll County History Project was started about five years ago as a way to preserve the history of the county by recording the memories of the folks who live here.

"We have over 500 videos stored online in an archive at http://www.carrollhistory.org," Taylor said. "Anyone can get online and view them."

Taylor said Eaton, a Carroll County resident, was one of the people instrumental in starting the history project.

"He will be giving folks tips on how to get your subject comfortable on camera and to tell their story in a compelling manner," she said. "A lot of times people forget things and he'll have tips to jog their memory. Leo will teach people how to conduct the interviews, too."

At the training session a staff member from the Community Media Center will show attendees how to set up a camera, frame the shots and make sure the audio is optimally set up.

"By the time they are done this workshop, people can walk away with everything they need to know to record a good oral history," Taylor said.

Taylor said the videos in the history project are a huge resource. "They include veterans, farmers, railroad workers, teachers, housewives, business owners, politicians and everything in between," she said.

The Community Media Center frequently broadcasts interviews from the Carroll County History Project on Channel 19.

"In February, to celebrate Black History Month, we will be airing documentaries about local people who participated in the March on Washington in 1963, a documentary about the Robert Moton segregated school, and the White Rock Church, one of Carroll County's oldest African-American churches," Taylor said. "We have families in the church who trace their history back to the origin of the church [in 1868]," she said.

According to Taylor, the history project is recorded by volunteers in the county and the many recordings show how Carroll County has changed over the years and the experiences of local residents.

"Ninety-one-year-old Oscar Baker, from Mount Airy, did a video about his 71 years as a volunteer firefighter," Taylor said. "I'd love to encourage more young people to do interviews with their parents, grandparents, neighbors," she said. "These are priceless stories and we need to capture them and preserve them."

Taylor said the media center has camera equipment folks can borrow to record interviews for the history project.

Taylor said they ask those who attend the workshop to record a video for the history project within the next three months.

"Looking back at where we've been helps us see where we are going and what we need to do in the future," Taylor said.

The workshop will take place at the Community Media Center, 1301 Washington Road.

Registration for the free workshop is required. For more information or to register, call 410-386-4415. Attendees may also email Taylor at staylor@carrollmediacenter.org to let them know they are coming.

Chili Cook Off

Access Carroll will have its eighth annual Chili Cook Off from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 26 in the Shipley Arena at the Carroll County Agriculture Center, off Gist Road, Westminster.

Event proceeds will benefit Access Carroll, a private nonprofit that offers reduced-cost health and dental services to low-income residents of Carroll County who meet eligibility requirements.

Enjoy food, live music, vendors and fun activities for kids at this event.

Trish Wagman, event co-chairman, said kids will find a moon bounce, face painting and a balloon artist. The bluegrass band Aspen Run will play throughout the day.

The Junior Woman's Club of Westminster will sell food, including funnel cakes, pizza, sodas and water.

Admission costs $10 for adults and $5 for students; it's free for children 4 and younger. Admission includes the opportunity to sample each chili in the competition and to vote for two favorites.

"There will be a people's choice award and a first, second and third prize in each of two categories, beef and non-beef," Wagman said.

Wagman said they have a judging team of local chefs who will sample each chili in cups that keep the cooker's name anonymous. Winners receive cash and a trophy.

Those interested in competing must cook at least 10 gallons of chili and must enter today, Jan. 17. The cost to enter is $25 and includes four admission tickets.

The packet needed to be a chili-cooker may be downloaded here: http://www.accesscarroll.org/documents/chili_cook_off/2014%20Chili%20Cooker%20Packet.pdf.

"People decorate their booths and we give a prize for the best decorated booth, and our vendors include Pampered Chef, Thirty-One and others. Folks can do some shopping if they want," Wagman said.

For more information about attending this event, call 410-871-1478. To learn more about entering/cooking, call Trish Wagman at 410-876-7421

"It's a fun family event," Wagman said, "and it's a great way to support the community and those who need access to health care."