What are Community Stories Projects?
“To be a storyteller is to recognize, break apart, and critically reshape the stories of our communities and our world.” - Tsering Lama, Storytelling Advisor, Greenpeace International
Window Seat partners with communities to facilitate community oral history and storytelling projects in the South Sound. Sometimes, we initiate a project with the guidance of a team of advisors and collaborators. Other times, our projects grow from a community, organization, or group of people who want to further a shared goal or vision for the future and Window Seat serves as a "story midwife," convener, or facilitator. We are so grateful for the many relationships we have developed over the past five years with multimedia storytellers, artists, academics, community organizers, and community organizations. Together, we've convened conversations, created opportunities to glean wisdom from the lived experience of our neighbors, colleagues, family members, and friends, and shared skills and tools through community workshops and storytelling. We've included some highlights below.
Past & Current Community Stories Projects
Brave Practice Playback Theatre Collective
We are a collective of theatre artists in the South Sound who use Playback Theatre as a way to foster connection and belonging in our local community. We aim to be a community resource for storytelling, community dialogue, and social change. Playback Theatre is an original form of interactive and improvisational theatre where people tell true stories from their lives and others enact them on the spot using music, dialogue, metaphor, and movement.
Preserving Working Farms
We offer multimedia storytelling services to help organizations raise awareness and funds. This collection of stories we produced (between 2015-2017) with organizations that are working to preserve working farmland and educate eaters about the challenges farmers face when producing food for local markets.
We are available to support your storytelling needs. Contact us at email@example.com
Voices from the Tidelands
Voices from the Tidelands was an exhibit about geoduck farming in the South Puget Sound from the worker’s perspective. 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.
This project was produced in partnership with Northwest Folklife and with funding from the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association. The 4-panel exhibit was on display at Northwest Folklife's Washington Works Exhibit, Olympia Art Walk, and a legislative reception hosted by the Pacific Shellfish Growers Association.
InhaleExhale is a multimedia, multidisciplinary conversation series about death and dying curated by Window Seat Media in collaboration with local artists, organizations, and groups.
InhaleExhale conversation series began in the fall of 2019 and is currently on pause. Check back for details or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voices from the Harbor
Relationships, networks, memory, storytelling - all contribute to what makes a community work. The primary goal of Voices from the Harbor was to put the Grays 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 Voices from the Harbor event series was co-produced by Window Seat Media and The Evergreen State College and was funded by Humanities Washington. It took place in 2017 in Grays Harbor County.
The Third Thirty
The Third Thirty is a community oral history project that invites South Sound elders to share their stories and memories about a moment in time or to explore a question or theme in relation to their own experience. The stories are gathered by Thurston County residents – many who are also in their “third thirty” years of life – who enroll in a workshop(s) taught by WSM. 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 while interviewing a community member.
This is an ongoing project that began in the fall of 2018. Contact email@example.com if you are interested in participating.