Kingdom COVID Chronicles is a community-wide art project chronicling the experiences of Northeast Kingdom residents during the current pandemic. Individuals and families of all ages are invited to respond to three weekly prompts in a sketchbook they keep for a period of four weeks. The resulting collection of sketchbooks will be a tangible, community-crafted project documenting a moment of our collective history, an inclusive record of diverse voices speaking out from isolation.
Participants will need a sketchbook which they can buy or, better yet, make from household materials. Family-friendly prompts will be published online and in newspapers weekly. Participants are welcome to share photos, video, or excerpts from their sketchbooks online at any time during the 4-week period, though this is not required.
For more detailed instructions on how to make a journal, click HERE.
Once the four weeks is up, sketchbooks can be mailed or, safety guidelines permitting, dropped off at a collection point. Catamount will take temporary possession of the sketchbooks for the creation of a public exhibit and celebration, hopefully in the fall, featuring readings and excerpts. Sketchbooks will be returned upon completion of the project.
A list of frequently asked questions can be found below.
Do I have to register? Yes, please. Registration tells us how many people are participating in the project and which segments of the community are represented. Also, registration tells us how to return your completed sketchbook to you in the future! (Register HERE.)
How do I make a sketchbook? You can make a sketchbook out of anything: a notebook, some scrap paper stapled together, birch bark and duct tape, anything you have on hand. For inspiration, check out the photos and instructions by artist and teacher Sharon Kenney Biddle and the short video by Riverside School eighth grader Eliza Noel.
Do I have to draw in my sketchbook? Only if you want to! You can do anything in your sketchbook: write, scribble, paste, collage, paint, staple, stamp, etc... Your sketchbook can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.
Do I have to use the prompts? The prompts allow many diverse people to answer the same questions, so we can compare our own experiences to those of others. While we strongly encourage you to use the prompts, or at least some of the prompts, you are not required to do so.
Can I include content that does not respond to the prompts? Absolutely.
Must my sketchbook be family-friendly? We want your sketchbook to be an authentic record of your personal experience. However, we’d also like your sketchbook to be part of a community accessible archive. Please bear in mind that our staffers will see your sketchbook, and content deemed inappropriate for public viewing may not be included in digital archives.
Can I start the project late? You can begin the project anytime between April 18 and May 15. You do not need to complete the prompts in any order.
Do I have to submit photos and videos online? Online submission of materials is not required, but it is encouraged. It’s fun for other participants and community members to see the sketchbooks develop and you may find it inspiring to see what others are doing. However, online participation is optional.
Do I have to send in my completed sketchbook? We love the idea, especially in this time of physical distancing and internet saturation, of a tangible collection of our community’s experiences, so this project is very much geared toward creating a physical exhibit of everyone’s sketchbooks. We understand it may be hard to part with these very personal creations, but please be assured, all sketchbooks will be returned to participants!
Is it safe to drop off my completed sketchbook? Drop-off and collection of physical sketchbooks will not be permitted until it is safe to do so. Organizers will watch for and adhere to safety guidelines outlined by healthcare professionals as they develop. Stay tuned!
Do I have to live in the Northeast Kingdom to participate? The short answer is yes. Kingdom COVID Chronicles aims to create a record of our community’s experience. However, similar projects are taking place worldwide, and we encourage anyone anywhere to build their own sketchbook collection, perhaps with family members, co-workers, or your own cities and towns.
Does participation cost money? No. In order to encourage widespread participation, we are keeping registration free. Donations toward administrative costs are welcome, however, and we are grateful to community sponsors and volunteers for helping to realize this project.
Where can I find the prompts? Prompts will appear weekly on Catamount’s website and social media and in press releases submitted to local newspapers.
Will the public exhibit/celebration be safe? Although we are very eager to hold a public exhibition and celebration of the entire Kingdom COVID Chronicles collection, we will not do so until healthcare and government officials advise us that public gatherings are safe. We hope it will be safe to hold a public exhibit in the fall, but we will not announce a date for this event until we can adhere to clear and confident guidelines.
When will I get my sketchbook back? Sketchbooks will be returned to participants after the public exhibition, so the only thing we know for certain is that it will not be sooner than the fall of this year. The safe return of your sketchbooks is important to us, so please be assured that we will take very good care of your unique hand-crafted work, and we will return it to you as soon as we possibly can.