VRAF Regional Workshops

Following a successful year-long pilot program, the Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) is pleased to announce that it is accepting host applications for the VRAF Regional Workshop Program for 2016-2017. Thanks to a second year of generous support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, this program will allow the VRAF to more fully realize its mission to promote scholarship, research, education, and outreach in the fields of visual resources and image management.

To apply to host a VRAF Regional Workshop please fill out the following form: http://goo.gl/forms/LF0hXQnn1JH3rTYw2

For the 2016-2017 second phase of this program, four grants of up to $3000 each are available to support an instructor stipend and travel expenses, a stipend for the local organizer, catering, and other minor expenses incurred by the host institution.  With the VRAF Regional Workshop Grant, host institutions will be able to offer a workshop without the burden of developing it from within, and provide valuable programming not only to their local constituents, but to their broader region. This opportunity is open to Visual Resources Association (VRA) Chapters, VRA affiliates, related organizations, and academic institutions with information management programs. For a reasonable registration fee, the workshops will provide an immersive experience on a single topic, framed in a manner that is relevant to image management professionals, users of cultural heritage information, and the larger information community.

For the 2016-17 program, applications will be accepted to host one of the following workshops: 

Can We Do That? : Intellectual Property Rights and Visual Media
A thorough understanding of intellectual property rights can be a challenge for lawyers, let alone information professionals, and the application of copyright restrictions on visual media can induce a sense of alarm and uncertainty dependent upon specific circumstances.  This workshop will provide a clear focus on U.S. copyright law, intellectual property rights, and fair use as they pertain to the use of visual media (e.g., images and moving images) within the academic, archival, library, gallery, and museum environments.  Information about image licensing, public domain resources, format conversion, educational usage, rights statements, securing publication rights, and creative reuse will be provided along with the tools and resources to help determine fair usage.

Collaborating across the Institution: Creating Professional Partnerships to Support Cultural Heritage
University, gallery, archive, and museum professionals are finding mutually beneficial new ways to work together to develop and deliver cultural heritage resources. Improved discovery and access in the digital age is a shared value by many individual constituents and there is increasing overlap in the work of librarians, archivists, curators, researchers, and educators.  As heritage intuitions increasingly emphasize institution-wide rather than local or departmental resources, collaborations and partnerships between these units can help further common goals, streamline budgets, and create broader access to richer cultural heritage resources. Moreover, creating these partnerships supports the institution and the individual by expanding job scope, skills, and network. This workshop will provide concrete strategies for building stronger professional collaborations. The workshop will also explore in depth the benefits and barriers to creating collaborations and will offer specific techniques to ensure successful partnerships. 

Enhancing Your Professional Toolkit and Expanding Your Role 
In the age of digital technology, professionals involved in the creation and management of digital assets have the unique opportunity to expand their role within and beyond their institution. From working across disciplines to stepping in front of the classroom, and developing new skillsets, the opportunities for cultural heritage and other information professionals have never been greater. This workshop will explore a gamut of approaches and opportunities for professional development, including how to promote and advocate for your facilities and services; techniques for using pedagogy and instruction as tools for professional growth; the art of collaboration; strategies for developing and retaining professional currency; and how to make your mark outside your institution via participation in professional organizations.

Exhibit, Instruct, Promote: An Introduction to Omeka For Digital Scholarship 
Omeka is a rich, open-source web publishing tool with a diverse array of functions for digital scholarship projects. For information professionals, faculty and students, Omeka can provide an easy way to publish and share digital content, as well as serve as a platform for building online exhibitions as academic and/or student projects.  In this workshop, participants will be provided with a comprehensive overview of both Omeka.net (hosted) and Omeka.org (installed on a server) and case studies that demonstrate the use of Omeka in a variety of contexts, ranging from providing access to digital collections to projects that engage students in the learning process. While focused on Omeka, this workshop also will touch on other similar tools used for digital scholarship (such as http://scalar.usc.edu/">Scalar) and offer practical information for planning digital projects.

Learning to Look and Looking to Learn: A Workshop on Visual Literacy
As our culture moves from an oral tradition to a visual one, an increasing emphasis is being placed on developing the visual literacy skills of both educators and students, uniquely positioning those who work with visual media to provide necessary visual literacy training and instruction.  This workshop will provide the tools to develop and implement a visual literacy training program at their institution. Visual literacy competencies, pedagogical approaches, and evaluative tools and methods will be outlined and discussed. 

Managing Digital Content
It has never been easier for institutions and individuals to create digital content.  From smartphones to 3D printers to livestreams on social networks, the digital age has both radically increased accessibility to these tools as well as dramatically simplified the process of digital capture.  Yet how to manage this explosion of content, and how to deal with its consequences?  This day-long workshop will introduce you to the core concepts of managing digital content by providing you with the background and tools to effectively organize, catalog and distribute your institution’s digital assets.  Type of content will include images, audio, video as well as e-books and other electronic publications; toolsets will focus on open-source and commercial solutions; local and cloud-based storage; working with metadata; ISO standards; generating derivatives; file validation and other critical concepts.  Workflows from successful digitization projects will be discussed, including intellectual property and rights assessments, content distribution and long-term archival storage.   You will leave with a comprehensive sense of the practical tools and skills required for digital projects at cultural heritage institutions.

Metadata and Management of Cultural Heritage Digital Media: From Fundamental to Future Trends
Cataloging, crosswalks, and controlled vocabularies are among the many topics covered in this workshop that addresses metadata for digital media.  Participants will receive an overview of standards such as VRA Core and Dublin Core, as well as how to manage, share, and publish datasets to various targets (e.g. institutional website and aggregators) using schema like XML, XMP and IPTC. Embedded metadata and associated embedding tools will also be discussed as it relates to the easy transfer of data. The second half of the workshop will address the latest developments in metadata, including Linked Open Data (LOD), Resource Description Format (RDF), International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) and other preservation metadata and authoritative taxonomies.   Participants will discuss how the visual resources and digital media management community can participate in these developments.

Moving Images: The Basics and Beyond 
Now that you have successfully navigated the conversion of analog to digital images, what do you need to know to protect the video and audio materials in your collection?   What materials need to be converted and how do you protect these valuable assets?  The workshop will provide a basic understanding of the technical terms, digital file options, digital file formats, metadata, workflow file naming, quality control, storage options, creation of local content and how to handle and care for a variety of formats: CDs, DVDs, VHS, 16mm film.   Participants will also learn how to determine the advantages of in-house conversion and that of outsourcing. 

For more information about the 2015-2016 program:

Questions? Please contact Betha Whitlow, VRAF Director, bwhitlow@wustl.edu

For more information about the Visual Resources Association Foundation, and its mission, projects, and giving opportunities, please visit us at: www.vrafoundation.org, or read the latest issue of our annual report at: http://vrafoundation.org/downloads/2014-15_VRAF_AnnualReport.pdf

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