Community Stories Projects

Sharing our stories. Transforming our communities.

What is the Community Stories Project?

Each year, Window Seat Media partners with a community to carry out a community oral history project to further a shared goal or vision for the future. Tsering Lama, a Storytelling Advisor at Greenpeace International refers to storytelling as world-building. She says, “To be a storyteller is to recognize, break apart, and critically reshape the stories of our communities and our world.” World-building must be a collective effort. We work with groups to consider carefully who needs to be at the table to carry out an effective, ethical process.

Voices from the Tidelands

Voices from the Tidelands provides a glimpse into the practice of geoduck farming in the South Puget Sound from the worker’s perspective. Rather than highlighting the companies for which these farmers work, this project features three young men who are learning the trade. From the perspective of these newcomers, these panels explore how they find daily meaning in their work, and develop a relationship to our natural environment through working - as opposed to recreating or living - on the water.

Inhale/Exhale: Stories of Birth and Death

What are our “blueprints” for how to give birth and how to die? Where do these stories come from and how do they inform the care we seek and receive? What stories complicate our “master narratives” about birth and death, and what can we learn from those stories? Inhale/Exhale explores these questions while amplifying stories on the margins about our maternal and end-of-life care in the South

In addition to launching a Window Seat Media podcast and exhibit, we intend to create opportunities for people to move beyond consuming stories alone, on their devices, and bring these stories into community spaces. Stay tuned for our event series - films, workshops, playback theater, live storytelling, reading, conversations and more - throughout 2019-2020 as the project takes flight!

Voices from the Harbor

Relationships, networks, memory, storytelling - all contribute to what makes a community work. The primary goal of Voices from the Harbor - an event series co-produced by Window Seat Media and The Evergreen State College and funded by Humanities Washington - is to put the Harbor region’s history to work as a community development tool. Some of the project’s core assumptions are that, if you know what to look for, a walk down the street can reveal the history of a community, a neighbor’s memory can provide insight into the lessons and experiences of a generation of citizens. By creating a space for community conversations about the evolution of the Harbor, we hope to add critical perspective to development efforts intended to solve contemporary issues like affordable housing and homelessness.

The Third Thirty: A Community Oral History Project

This 8-week project-based course explores the time of life between age 60-90. How does our history and identity shape how we experience this period of time? What challenges are people encountering? What gifts come in this thirty years of life? Students explore these and other questions while learning the art and practice of oral history, building their listening skills, and considering the ethical issues of gathering and sharing other peoples’ stories.

The first Third Thirty cohort concluded in the Fall of 2018. The second cohort will start their training and oral history projects in Spring of 2019. If you are interested in joining a future project...