Donna Matrazzo - The Writing Works

Portfolio: Cultural History

nqc tmne wsx: Of One Heart
Project. nqc tmne wsx: Of One Heart
Client. Nez Perce National Historical Park

The main Visitor Center film, developed with Nez Perce elders and storytellers, designed to help visitors gain an understanding of present-day Nez Perce culture, and the tribe's past.
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John Steinbeck
Project. John Steinbeck
Client. National Steinbeck Center, Salinas, California

A biographical film, Steinbeck: Experimenter, Philosopher, Traveler, Writer, introduces visitors to the museum. Work includes thirteen other pieces, varying from audio dialogue selections from Steinbeck's work, to half-hour video treatments (selected film clips, interviews, readings) for five thematic theatres, including Cannery Row, Barn Theatre, Hooverville, Mexican Theatre and War Time.
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Oregon Voices exhibit
Project. Oregon Voices exhibit
Client. Oregon History Museum

Oregon Voices is a contemporary history story of Oregon's changes and challenges. Beauty Parlor, Pickup Truck, Outdoor Oregon and Not Everyone's Paradise exhibits contain 60 interactive story screens plus 20 short documentary films. MAX Theater film expresses the personality of Oregon viewed in the setting of a MAX streetcar. The Oregonian's review stated, "the stories are moving because they're told with such power."
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 Earth Lodge and other Plains Indians films and audio pieces
Project. Earth Lodge and other Plains Indians films and audio pieces
Client. Plains Indian Museum, Cody, Wyoming

In Earth Lodge, eleven video monitors hidden behind scrims and circling 360 degrees come to life inside a full-size reconstructed Hidatsa Earth Lodge, telling a story that explores the spirituality of the Plains Indians, and tribal knowledge passed from generation to generation. Seasons of Life depicts a year of ceremonies and survival, with the film incorporated into an immense theatrical diorama of a Blackfeet Indian village in the 1870s viewed from three levels. Audio productions that enhance other exhibits include Buffalo Stories, Log Cabin, Migration and Tipis.
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 America's History in the Making series (scriptwriter for two of ten parts)
Project. America's History in the Making series (scriptwriter for two of ten parts)
Client. PBS, Oregon Public Broadcasting

A multimedia-based professional development series for middle school and secondary teachers focusing on pre-contact through Reconstruction and designed to offer broader and deeper perspectives on American history. Unit Two: Mapping Initial Encounters shows how these played out over three centuries and a vast geographic region. Unit Three: Colonial Designs follows the earliest colonization through the prosperous English colonies after the French and Indian War.
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Reel Cowgirls  starring Katherine Ross plus three other films
Project. Reel Cowgirls starring Katherine Ross plus three other films
Client. National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame

Reel Cowgirls, narrated on camera by actress Katharine Ross, shows the cowgirl as pop icon, in a compilation of delightful film clips beginning with turn of the century silent westerns. A sweeping, three-screen panorama, Into the Saddle evocatively tells the wild and visceral history of the cowgirl, set in vast, rugged landscapes. Screens swing around in a simulation of rodeo gates, and Great Rides comes to life, immersing visitors in an exciting arena experience of rodeos and races. Ranch Women is an interactive piece featuring ten contemporary ranch women telling stories that give a sense of a day in their lives.
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 Lighthouses of Alaska
Project. Lighthouses of Alaska
Client. PBS, Oregon Public Broadcasting

Part of PBS's Legendary Lighthouses series, this film is a sweeping hour-long journey to the remote wilderness outposts of the dozen remaining Alaska lighthouses, the keepers who lived in isolation there and the people fighting to preserve them today.
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Donner Camp Diorama and four other pieces
Project. Donner Camp Diorama and four other pieces
Client. California National Historic Trail Interpretive Center, Elko, Nevada

Why Go West? is the visitor center's introductory video. Donner Camp and Gold Rush are environmental theater dioramas. Bidwell-Donner Listening Stations are five audio stories and Jumping Off is an interactive map with hot spots where visitors can click on 20 stories related to the trail.
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We are the Northwest
Project. We are the Northwest
Client. Northwest African American Museum, Seattle, Washington

This film portrays a mosaic of African American lives in the Pacific Northwest today, and plays on a life-size vertical screen. Another film, African Perspectives interviews African emigrants and American tourists to Africa.
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Working the Mines and four other productions
Project. Working the Mines and four other productions
Client. Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada

Working the Mines is a "Pepper's Ghost" video projection of historic characters. First Peoples Story Circle is a panoramic five-screen immersion theater experience. Audio programs include Test Site Stories; Helen Stewart, First Lady of Las Vegas; and Choose Your Fate, inviting visitors to make choices about pioneer travel.
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Adventures and Great Undertakings: Herbert Hoover's Childhood at West Branch
Project. Adventures and Great Undertakings: Herbert Hoover's Childhood at West Branch
Client. National Park Service, Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, West Branch, Iowa

A film that provides an introduction to Hoover's life, making the connection between the tangible structures at the site, including his birthplace cottage, and the intangible values they represent. Events of Hoover's later life are portrayed against the settings that shaped his values.
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Grandeur, Grit and Glory and other productions
Project. Grandeur, Grit and Glory and other productions
Client. Old State Capitol Museum, Jackson, Mississippi

The Honorable Representatives Speak, Laws of the Land, Governor's Office, Senate Chamber, and the main visitor center film include extensive reenactments and bring to life this monumental building and the events that took place between 1839 and 1901, perhaps the most divisive period in U.S.history.
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Of Dreams and Discovery: Lewis & Clark's Arrival at the Pacific
Project. Of Dreams and Discovery: Lewis & Clark's Arrival at the Pacific
Client. Washington State Parks, Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, Fort Canby

A film that recreates the scenarios revealing the little-known significance of the area at the Mouth of the Columbia River to the entire journey. The Corps' 18 grueling days at the Mouth became "an end of our Voyage" -- the fulfillment of Thomas Jefferson's dream of sending an overland party to the Pacific Ocean.
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Great Lodges: Glacier National Park
Project. Great Lodges: Glacier National Park
Client. PBS, Oregon Public Broadcasting

Great Lodges of the National Parks is a series of one-hour programs that aired nationally on PBS. Featuring Glacier National Park in northwest Montana, this piece focuses on the lodges' history, architecture, construction and what they have to offer today.
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Paradise Found: A Journey to Fiji
Project. Paradise Found: A Journey to Fiji
Client. Sea Kayaker magazine

A first-person adventure story of two kayak trips to Fiji, visiting outlying islands and a bay where white-skinned Westerners had never before been guests. Includes exploring with a shaman and taking part in village life.
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Longhouse: Preparing for a Celebration
Project. Longhouse: Preparing for a Celebration
Client. Tulalip Tribes, Hibulb Cultural Center, Tulalip, Washington

Preparing for a Celebration takes place inside a Longhouse and recreates the story-telling experience through an Elder. Slahal, the Bone Game explains the game in its traditional setting with singing and drumming.
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 Parma, my grandmother's story
Project. Parma, my grandmother's story
Client. Personal History, Soul Stories production

What began as an improvisational oral story about my Italian grandmother created during a Soul Stories workshop at Dreams Well Studio became a solo performance art piece that I performed in costume. Later it was published in booklet form and became an audio story on a CD, Soul Stories: true tales of transformation that was played nationwide on alternative radio stations.
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 Family Trees: a living legacy in Oregon's Forests
Project. Family Trees: a living legacy in Oregon's Forests
Client. Forests for Oregon magazine

Forests for Oregon is a publication of the Oregon Department of Forestry. A special story for its sesquicentennial issue, Family Trees tells the story of four Oregon family forests, beginning with (pictured) Almon and Mary Shibley, who came across the Oregon Trail.

Oregon, My Oregon
Project. Oregon, My Oregon
Client. Oregon Historical Society

Three major film pieces embellish the new Oregon, My Oregon permanent exhibit. In Quest of the Unknown uses the fabulous cartographic resources of OHS to tell the story of early maritime exploration. Oregon, Land of Sunshine! is a tongue-in-cheek synopsis of the natural resources that were the magic draw to settlers and investors. Modern Oregon Issues is, literally, a juke box set in a diner with interactive choices showing person-on-the-street comments on contemporary controversial issues. Oregon Trail Audio Zone uses sound, songs and stories of the pioneers to tell the story in a fresh and interesting way.
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