Back streets of Oaxaca, by Pearl Lau

Backstreets of Oaxaca, pastel by Pearl Lau, NEH Summer Scholar, 2010

WHP, in collaboration with Jonathon Richter, Director of the Center for Learning in Virtual Environments, UO, won a contest in 2010 run by the New Media Consortium for a free island in Second Life for six months. Our aim was to launch an experiment in the creation of a virtual learning environment, “Virtual_Oaxaca,” where teachers in our NEH Summer Institute could place curricular materials and hold learning events.  The National Endowment for the Humanities added $10,000 in supplements in 2010 and in 2011, and Professor Gabriela Martínez, a documentary filmmaker and professor in the School of Journalism and Communications, came on board with some additional funds from her school.  Jonathon recruited additional partners, such as Cathy Arreguín, a pioneer in using Second Life for educational purposes,  and Melissa Carrillo of the Latino Virtual Museum, which we were very excited to participate in, at the Smithsonian. More recently, Carolina Dabbah Ceballos pushed our graphic design forward.  Unfortunately, we lost our space at the LVM as the Smithsonian became dissatisfied with Second Life as a platform. We are now watching for opportunities to bring Virtual Oaxaca alive again on another platform.  Please see the machinima from one phase of Virtual_Oaxaca, when it was still live.

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