Dalton Public Schools News

Dalton Middle School Students Complete Workshops with Local Artists
Dalton Middle School Students Complete Workshops with Local Artists
"Each of them is a master of a craft and is willing to support the new journalism program, Studio D, in growing and developing. I couldn't be more excited about working with them in the future, as well as connecting with other storytellers in our community."
Brandon Cawood speaking to class

Dalton Middle School recently hosted a workshop series for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students called "Local Conversations About Storytelling." This series was a collaboration between journalism, media arts, and theater at Dalton Middle School.

This semester, students were able to hear from three different local artists. Each presenter focused on the ways we can tell compelling stories using these different mediums.

First, eighth grade journalism students met with Deanna Mathis, director of community outreach and corporate giving at Shaw Industries. Mathis said it took her a while to figure out her passion was working with the community and not engineering, which she studied in college.

"It may take you some time to discover your true passion but finding it is the most important thing in your life," Mathis said. "I think I've done that."

Mathis helped students practice asking open-ended questions and turning those response into a written article. She also explained that interviewing had been used throughout her career both at Shaw and in opening her own business, the Dalton Brewing Company.

"Whether it's working for Shaw, opening my own business or volunteering, I just wanted to show people that Dalton really is a great place to live," Mathis said.

Next, students heard from Logan Kilgore, a local photographer. She demonstrated how to tell different stories through photography by using different lighting, props and poses.

Logan Kilgore speaking to small group of students

Finally, Brandon Cawood, a filmographer, discussed storytelling and the power of moving the viewer emotionally using film. Cawood has worked on many projects all over the world, from creating composite photos of unsung heroes to non-profit promotional videos, short documentaries and his up-and-coming music video about Dalton called "Welcome to D-Town," a collaboration with the Dalton Chamber of Commerce and Believe Greater Dalton.

Cawood held up his camera and drone and other equipment but told students, "These are just the tools you use, like a carpenter building something. The house, the important part, is the story. That's what's powerful."

Amanda Triplett developed this series as an effort to expose her journalism students to the array of artistic talent in the Dalton community and to start building a collaborative team of classes at DMS that will feed into the new Fine Arts Academy at Dalton High School.

"Deanna, Logan, and Brandon have all stepped up to show our students here at DMS that their stories and voices are important," Triplett said. "Each of them is a master of a craft and is willing to support the new journalism program, Studio D, in growing and developing. I couldn't be more excited about working with them in the future, as well as connecting with other storytellers in our community."