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 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 while interviewing a community member.

If you are interested in participating or collaborating, contact Elaine at

most recent story

March 28, 2021

"Those of us in the 70s were coming out of the 60s, which was an entire decade of freedom of thought and experimentation on a lot of different levels. And I think that Olympia at that time was really an open book of possibilities. Boy, back then, it seemed like the ideas were so big there weren’t rooms big enough to hold them. They were just bursting everywhere."