Keene State campus and community members are invited to create six art maps of Keene with artist and educator, Brad Houk during three sessions, on March 24 from 12-4:00 p.m., March 31 from 10-3:00 p.m., and on April 14 from 10-3:00 p.m. at the Redfern Arts Center. Participants will capture important memories, local treasures, valuable places and spaces worth preserving in graphic form of the city of Keene through a series of mapping exercises, field work, and map-making. photo by Josh Larkin

By News Release

KEENE — The Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College and the Colonial Theater in downtown Keene, are partnering on a unique community mapping project in March and April, 2018 with artist and educator Brad Houk. Mapping Keene is a collaborative community arts project that will offer participants the chance to explore Keene through a new lens and create visual maps that illuminate Keene’s specific character. Keene State campus and community members are invited to create six art maps of Keene with Brad Houk over the course of three sessions, March 24 from 12-4:00 p.m., March 31 from 10-3:00 p.m., and April 14 from 10-3:00 p.m. Participants will map important memories, perceptions, local treasures, valued places and spaces the community should preserve, and the common, everyday and often overlooked areas that are not usually mapped. Participants from the campus and community will engage in mapping exercises, data collection and map making activities that explore personal narratives and community perspectives.

Mapping Keene maps will be on exhibit in the main lobby of the Redfern Arts Center between April 23-May 20, 2018 and downtown at the Colonial Theater from May 22-June 10, 2018.

The Redfern Arts Center and the Colonial Theater are looking for up to 36 participants, ages 12 and up, from Keene State and the surrounding community to participate in this civic engagement project with Redfern Artist in Residence Brad Houk. No mapping or art experience required and it is free to participate. Participants need only be curious, and available to attend three sessions (includes mapping exercises, fieldwork, data collection, and map making). Participants are asked to attend at least two mapping sessions, including the introductory session on March 24 at the Hannah Grimes Center. The last two sessions on March 31 and April 14 will take place in the Scene Shop at the Redfern Arts Center. Come dressed for whatever weather might ensue. Light food and refreshments will be provided at each mapping session. To register for the sessions, please visit the link,

“I like to create maps that make a difference concerning social issues,” Houk says. To Houk, who teaches classes at the Community College of Vermont, at Riverside Middle School in Springfield, and the Green Mountain High School in Chester, VT, mapping empowers people to see and approach their worlds differently and to enact positive change in their community. At CCV, Houk has worked with students to map parked cars and foliage in Bellows Falls using origami, and has mapped wind chimes, church bells, traffic patterns, pet routes, and graffiti that create a narrative atlas of life in the village.

Keene participants from various community groups are invited to create maps that address themes relevant to their specific working group and that highlight the community and cultural assets of Keene. Maps are a powerful visual tool that can link people to places and issues important within the community. People can register as a team and identify stand-in participants to attend whichever session members are unable to attend. If registering on behalf of a community group, club, or class, you can designate who will fill your position on the registration form.

Brad Houk is an educator, counter-cartographer, and artist. He teaches Physical Education full-time at Springfield High School (VT) and is an adjunct instructor at the Community College of Vermont (CCV) and teaches a variety of courses in the fields of geography, art, and education, among others. In 2016, Brad Houk was the recipient of CCV’s prestigious state-wide Faculty Service Award for Outstanding Service to the Community. His current research focuses on a variety of mapping and map-making projects which range from creating narrative atlases of local communities to addressing issues of social justice and equity for the purpose of influencing or changing public policy.

Creative Connections outreach activities surrounding Mapping Keene include the project dates and map exhibit dates:

●            Session 1 – The Consciousness of Place: Mapping Personal Narratives: March 24, 2018, 12-4 p.m., Hannah Grimes Center

●            Session 2 – The Double- and Multi-Consciousness of Place: Mapping Alternative Perspectives: March 31, 2018, 10-3 p.m., Redfern Arts Center Scene Shop

●            Session 3 – Personal Identities: April 14, 2018, 10-3 p.m., Redfern Arts Center Scene Shop

●            Session 4 (optional map work if needed): April 22, 2018, 10-3 p.m., Redfern Arts Center Scene Shop

●            Wrap party at the Colonial Theater – April 23, 2018: 6-8:00 p.m.

●            Opening exhibit reception at the Redfern Arts Center – April 24, 2018: 4-6:00 p.m.

For more information about the The Nelken Line project, contact Redfern’s Assistant Director Sharon Fantl, 603-358-2167,

Mapping Keene is a collaboration between the Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College and the Colonial Theater.