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

most recent story

May 30, 2019

I truly, truly do believe in trying to constantly evaluate who you are and how you are, and my basic philosophy has always been love. If you have love in your life, in your family, and in your companions you have the most important thing in learning to live. And the thing of it is, we cannot know who we are, except when we are interacting with another-human-being.