Community Stories Projects

Sharing our stories. Strengthening 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 Death and Dying...for the Living

InhaleExhale is a multimedia, multidisciplinary conversation series about death and dying curated by Window Seat Media in collaboration with local artists, organizations, and groups.

We curate a variety of monthly events – from visual and performing arts events, to community conversations and nuts and bolts workshops – to share powerful stories and ideas and ask what is possible for ourselves, our families, and our communities in life and at death.

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

The Third Thirty is an oral history project that gathers and shares stories from South Sound elders. The purpose of the project is invite people between the ages 60 and 90 to reflect on a question or theme and to share a bit of their truth in relation to that question or theme with our community. The stories are gathered by Thurston County residents – many who are also in their “third thirty” years of life –who enroll in an eight-week long project based course taught by WSM Curator,Elaine Vradenburgh. Participants learn the art and practice of oral history ,build their listening and interviewing skills, and consider the ethical issues of gathering and sharing other peoples’ stories. Each participant interviews a community member, transcribes the interview in full, and then edits the transcript into a short, cohesive story. We share the stories (with permission from the person whose story it is) at a public reading and conversation hosted and facilitated by WSM, and they live on in the WSM archive.

If you are interested in participating, contact Elaine at elaine@windowseatmedia.org.