This seven month immersive project, made possible by Ball State University, the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, and community donors, had five parts:
- Digital Archive Exhibit
- Digital Film Exhibit
- Traveling Exhibit
- Gift Shop Merchandise
- Marketing Plan
Though every student assisted in the creation of all of these assets, we were each assigned a team. I was assigned to the digital archive exhibit team, which was tasked with creating an extensive interactive exhibit encompassing Vonnegut’s roles as author, artist, activist, and Hoosier. On the archive exhibit team, I primarily served as the coordinator for the team. I made sure that we were meeting our deadlines, organized all of the assets that we collected, and communicated with the designer. I also served as document photographer on each of our research trips to the archive of Vonnegut’s work at the Lilly Library at Indiana University Bloomington. By the end of the project, I edited 600+ images of Vonnegut’s personal papers, and I wrote 50+ blurbs and selected the photos to accompany them. The final exhibit was loaded onto a 27″ iMac and gifted to the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. A condensed version of this exhibit accompanies the traveling exhibit on two iPads.
I also assisted with the marketing portion of the project. I designed an intensive marketing survey with the assistance of my professor and disseminated the survey to the Library’s patrons via email and social media. 448 people completed the survey. Then, my professor and I analyzed the data and constructed a list of adjustments to their current marketing plan. I was elected to present the findings of the survey to the Library’s board of directors.
Below are some screenshots from the exhibit.
Update: In the Fall of 2013, I was given the opportunity to resume work on this project through an independent study with Professor Rai Peterson which culminated in a lecture tour about Kurt Vonnegut alongside the traveling exhibit in Germany in February 2014. We gave a workshop on teaching Vonnegut’s work to university and high school educators, and we spoke about Vonnegut’s heritage to an audience which, to our surprise, included some of Vonnegut’s relatives. For me, the highlight of the trip was getting to see Dresden, to learn about Dresden before and after the bombing and most importantly to visit Slaughterhouse Five where Vonnegut was held as a prisoner of war during the bombing of Dresden in WWII.