Collective Storytelling – Red Burns

This is my audio piece on ITP’s Red Burns for my Collective Storytelling class. This was for the Participation, Transactions and Narrative Spaces assignment. It was to involve three or more people. Thanks very much to ITP Faculty Dan O’Sullivan, Tom Igoe, Nancy Hechinger and Dan Shiffman for letting me interview you about Red.

For all those within the ITP community, Red is a legend. She founded the program in 1979 and has been synonymous with the place ever since. As a student, you hear bits and pieces of all these things that she has accomplished over the years, as well as some rather unique stories.

Red still leads the Applications class during the first term of first-year classes. While I found the class great, I also struggled to hear her some time. I don’t think my class of students has been able to see her unique spirit on display as much as recently, or even fully understand how unique she is. So I decided to ask some of the faculty who know her well to tell me some stories about her. They were classic.

For class, I needed to limit the recording to 10 minutes, which meant I had to edit considerably the 4 interviews I had conducted. I also tried to limit my voice as much as possible. I much prefer to hear Dano, Tom, Nancy and Dan speak than myself. They’ve got plenty of great things to say about Red.

The piece got a good reaction in class. It was interesting to discuss with the 3 second-years the difference in their Applications experience and ours. It seems like all the students at ITP appreciate Red for creating the space that we are now enjoying, even if her presence hasn’t been felt on the floor that much recently.

I also chatted briefly with Kate Watson about this assignment and her thesis archive project. I think students at ITP are eager to learn more about the program’s history, including the alumni, faculty and work produced. I’ve considered expanding on this as my final project for the class, but I need to think it over a bit more.