“The Price We Have to Pay” was the culmination of the Castleton College Education Department’s Civic Engagement project for the spring semester. After brainstorming together in several community meetings, the students of the Inquiry I and Inquiry II courses agreed that the most prevalent issue they observed - and experienced - within their local community was financial hardship, which plays out in a variety of ways. Using ethnographic techniques, students interviewed community members about how financial hardship affects them, and the local community and how people respond to these struggles in diverse and creative ways. Students conducted audio recordings of their interviews, edited excerpts, and combined the audio with photographic portraits for the creation of a multi-media exhibition that strives to share the stories of community members in response to daily economic strains.
The project was a partnership with the Vermont Folklife Center and the Robert T. Stafford Center for the Support and Study of the Community.