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 Death and Dying...for the Living

Inhale/Exhale explores these and other questions about our end-of-life care in the South Puget Sound through a multidisciplinary community story project. Our goal is to amplify the practices, structures, and rituals we need to have safe, supported, and empowered care at the end of our lives. Through the project we hope to share powerful stories and ideas, illuminate systemic problems, and ask what is possible for end-of-life care in the South Sound community.

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...