Meg was featured on the Lean In, Olympia podcast by Interfaith Works. Check out the video!
It’s been almost two years since our community rallied to support Window Seat after we lost our space to the devastating fire in downtown Olympia. The outpouring of support, not just for us but for all who inhabited that space, is a testament to the deep value of collective care that our community embodies. Our latest oral history project, Community Roots, has grown during this time of recovery and explores the roots of collective care in our community and its relationship to access to affordable space. It’s a story that is not unique to our community at this moment, but one that ties our collective experiences together across time and space in the United States.
We need your help producing a new interactive exhibit, event series, and podcast featuring three historic community organizing efforts in Olympia, Washington!
Stories of Bravery with Brave Practice, Olympia Indie Music History Project update, CIELO story from our archive, and more.
Illuminate Pride, Brave Practice & TOGETHER!, Stories of Food, and more
What is bringing you queer joy? Come share with us at the community collage station and join us for the keynote panel at noon.
Pride tabling, Community Roots updates, and welcoming Diana to the Board!
A recap of our 2023 second annual community storytelling fundraiser. Thank you for helping us celebrate where we have come this year, including highlights from Community Roots and Stories of Food, Food as Story, a performance by Brave Practice Playback Theatre Collective, and walk along the Sandy Beach trail at Tolmie State Park.
Are you an educator interested in bringing oral history into your classroom? Join us for this 2-session virtual clock hour offering and gain oral history skills to be able to facilitate a community-based interviewing process and storytelling project in your classroom.
Have you heard? ASHHO and Window Seat Media are co-producing an interactive applied theatre workshop series in 2023! If you are between the ages of 14-24, come rehearse and co-perform with Brave Practice Playback Theatre collective on the 3rd Sundays on the month. We'll meet at ASHHO Cultural Community Center January - May 2023 to connect and express ourselves through theater and storytelling.
Community Roots is a community oral history project that features elders in Washington’s South Sound who are artists, innovators, and change-makers. Join an upcoming cohort to help gather and share stories for the project in 2023!
Join us this winter for Stories of food, food as story: a workshop series exploring our history and cultural foodways. Revisit the past with curiosity, humility, care, and food!
We will continue Community Storytelling Circles into 2023 on a regular basis, moving to quarterly instead of monthly.
Join us September 9th through 11th for a series of artist talks, workshops, and performances! Celebrate our community’s rich arts, activism, and organizing traditions, share powerful stories and ideas, and ask what is possible.
We'll be back again this fall hosting ongoing Community Storytelling Circles in partnership with organizations and individuals doing good work in the community. Join us and celebrate ordinary people living extraordinary lives!
Join us for our June Community Storytelling Circle featuring Meli Bless (she/her). This event honors Pride Month and the ongoing contributions of LGBTQIA+ individuals in our community every day. We will gather to listen to Meli’s story, and move into breakout rooms to reflect on stories of finding rainbows in our own lives.
Join us for our Community Storytelling Gathering and Fundraiser at Tolmie State Park on July 9th. It's such a beautiful location, and we're excited to launch what we hope will be an annual tradition that brings people together. We can only accommodate 50 people, so register now to save your spot!
Join us May 24 for our Community Storytelling Circle featuring 梁霖Lin Crowley (she/her), local educator, community-builder, Chinese-American, and first-generation immigrant. Lin will share a bit of her personal background and life’s work building bridges in our community. We will gather to listen to Lin’s story, and move into breakout rooms to reflect on moments of building bridges in our own lives. This event honors Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, as well as the ongoing contributions of Asian Pacific Americans in our community every day.
Join us April 24 for an event in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and National Poetry Month with Olympia Poet Laureate Ashly McBunch (they/them). Ashly will read their poem Atomic 22 and guide a community conversation on consent and writing to heal. We will gather in a safe community space to listen and share stories.
Window Seat Media is one of fifty grant recipients nation-wide. Funding will support a series of workshops and events this spring, summer and fall in conjunction with Window Seat’s community oral history project, "The Third Thirty: Honoring and Amplifying the Voices of South Sound Elders".
"Keep your 'kwaylons' open," storytelling with Harvest Moon, Indigenous Woman Storyteller We will listen in community to Harvest Moon sing and tell the story of How Otter Brought the Water. Harvest will share a bit about where the story came from and her experience as an Indigenous Woman Storyteller. We will then reflect and share our own stories in breakout rooms inspired by the question: When was a time in your life when you “kept your kwaylons open,” or not? Perhaps it's a moment where you acted or reacted like one of the characters in Harvest’s story.
Join us virtually on February 27 @ 2pm to honor Black History Month: "Activating Grace," An interview with Dr. Thelma Jackson in conversation with Ava McGee.
Window Seat Media and ASHHO Cultural Community and Job Training Center are co-producing a storytelling event directly following the monthly Walk with Erin Jones.
Debe was one of our featured storytellers for the Third Thirty project and has facilitated many of our community story circles and events. She speaks to the value of how Window Seat Media brings the community together to share stories.
Ava went through our community oral history training for the Third Thirty project and has conducted multiple interviews for the project. She is also a talented facilitator for many of our community story circles and events.
Harvest was a featured storyteller in The Third Thirty oral history project, honoring and amplifying the voices of our elders. To greet the community, Harvest writes: “Weaving the Dream, Pan Silpaulos, Quinault meaning, ‘Time of Autumn.’ As Mother Earth brings change of seasons to shed their colorful leaves. The animals shed their coats for a warmer winter coat. Rivers and streams fill with rage as the nights of rain to cleanse and wash away, to bring forth a new transformation.”
Lonnie began the Looking Back, Moving Forward project to encourage a community collaborative dialogue on racism. The project originated from the discovery of written testimonials from three people each from different parts of the country: Oregon, California, and Selma, Alabama. They wrote of their experiences in Selma during the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery. The project is dedicated to bringing local residents together to dialogue about racism, its systemic impact on our community, and work in partnership for solutions. Learn more about Looking Back, Moving Forward at dialogtotransformation.net.
InhaleExhale is a community storytelling project that invites community members to explore and share their stories of death and dying. Our project launch in the fall of 2019 was a day of informational and interactive workshops, exhibits, Playback Theatre, and story sharing. Evan Ferber was one of the participants. Here he reflects on his experience, and what it sparked shortly after – a local group organizing to provide green burial here in Thurston County!
From now until the end of 2021, donate online to support community storytelling and local change-making and/or attend our two upcoming storytelling events - one online and one in-person Your donations support future community oral history and storytelling in the South Sound. Learn more about our campaign here. Thank you!
We are currently working on updating our strategic plan and planning for future community oral history and storytelling projects. We appreciate you taking the time to offer your feedback and insights: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NQHVLXB
Over the next several weeks for our Spaces that Spark community fundraiser, we'll shine a light on moments of synergy we’ve witnessed through our community storytelling work. Donate now to support local change-making in the South Sound region.
"Reading and/or listening to each narrator’s life story was an immersive, frequently delightful experience. But occasionally, I felt like a trespasser wading into deeply personal territory. I was not prepared for the vulnerability that each narrator brought to their interview. With unflinching honesty, they discussed the Great Depression, the internment of Japanese Americans, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, misogyny, racism, class divide, art, music, unplanned pregnancy, parenthood, curtailed ambitions, loneliness, joys and tragedies of all sorts. I trailed behind, adding in commas and periods." -Isabelle Haines, Community Stories Project Intern
We're Hiring! We’re entering into our 5th year at Window Seat Media and are eager for new energy, talents, and ideas so that we can grow and evolve in responsive and meaningful ways. We seek a responsive, thoughtful, and collaborative leader to deepen, strengthen, and grow our relationships with our South Sound community.
Upcoming Workshop! Constellating Lineage is a 6-session workshop series that invites participants to explore their family history, heritage, and story(ies). Begins Saturday February 20.
Beginning in December, we will share excerpts from the interviews we gather from The Third Thirty Oral History Project through a virtual story circle. After listening to a short audio story, story circle participants will have opportunity to reflect and share their own stories in response to a question or theme in facilitated large and small group conversations.
I want to have my body prepared by the local Chevra Kadisha, the Sacred Society of volunteers who perform the ancient ritual of Tahara/Purification, washing and wrapping the body in a shroud in preparation for burial. How could I combine traditional Jewish burial practices with environmentally sound burial methods?
I am returning to work after reducing my hours during the stay-at-home order. With guidance from our Board, collaborators, and advisors, we are finding a path that we hope moves our work forward with renewed intention and care. I am feeling particularly grateful for the powerful storytellers of today - Ava DuVernay, Resmaa Menakem, and Bryan Stevenson, to name just a few - who are doing the imperative and courageous work of naming, contextualizing, and framing white supremacy in new and urgent ways.
We invited (mostly local) visual and performing artists to share their questions, ideas, and stories about death and dying through the creation of original works. What resulted was a mosaic of voices and expression. The malleability of memory, the possibility of queer kinship, the interdependence of human and nonhuman, sound and body as conduit and connector, life as celebration...are some threads that weave these works together. We’re excited to share our experiment and their stories with you. Join us!
Join us for our project launch! Workshops, playback theater, an exhibit, conversations and more! Together, we will consider our own stories around death, access new ideas and resources, and listen to stories in a variety of formats.
“The truth is that tourism, like any other capitalistic project, is about consumption for profit. But “place” isn’t an endlessly renewable commodity—it is someone’s home, and the communities who call it so rarely factor in fairly to our conceptions of travel as an enlightening project.”
Do you love listening to people’s stories? Are there individuals in our South Sound community (or beyond) who have great stories to share? Join us as we continue to gather stories from community members between ages 60 and 90 as part of "The Third Thirty: A Community Storytelling Project."
January is our anniversary month here at Window Seat Media. On January 25, 2016 I filed the paperwork to turn this idea that had been percolating for quite some time into a nonprofit in the state of Washington.
We all have rituals. One of mine is to turn up narratives that make me uncomfortable in my white skin. The Establishment is my daily dose of discomfort. This morning, as I scrolled through my Facebook feed while drinking my coffee, I came upon this article by Ijeoma Oluo: "White People Will Always Let You Down." The title stung; I knew I needed to read it.
Window Seat Media is a nimble organization that thrives on synergy, abundance thinking, and experimentation. We value relationships (human and place-based), multi-disciplinary collaboration, multi-vocality, equity, transparency, and trust. We are always seeking out folks who share our values to help guide our effort forward. We're thrilled to welcome Jessica Babcock to our Board, who embodies these values.
Who decides what stories we hear and what are the implications? How does the process of constructing narratives impact group behavior? For the past 10 weeks, I had the good fortune of exploring these and other timely questions with a small cohort of students enrolled in The Evergreen State College's Grays Harbor Program.
Forty years ago, Cambodia faced a humanitarian crisis similar in scale what we're witnessing in Aleppo. Last month I interviewed Srey Ryser, the founder of the Cambodian Cultural Celebration, for a video I produced for Washington State Park's Folk and Traditional Arts in the Parks Program. With her permission, I am sharing a bit of her story from our interview and video stills I gathered for the project.
The Resilience Project explores what underlies our human capacity to persevere. We’re curious about our ability to offer up kindness and hope – to ourselves and others – in the face of adversity and to have the strength to carry on. Our hope is that through this project we offer opportunities to slow down and delve deeply into one aspect of the human condition.
In times of great uncertainty, the need for role models feels more important than ever. If we choose to listen, we will find people who are creating opportunities to cultivate compassion, understanding, and healing. They are driven by an innate curiosity and a deep need for discovery rather than truth.
On Tuesday I traveled over the mountains to the Wenatchee Valley to an annual conference of conservation district staff. Window Seat Media was invited as a presenter to give a workshop in the communications and education track of the conference. Our workshop focused on the power and potential of community-driven storytelling to deeply engage our communities in our work.
A community-based oral history project about visionaries and change-makers. Join a cohort to gather the stories or engage with us at artist talks, exhibits, workshops, and performances.
A community-based oral history project exploring our histories and cultural heritage through food traditions and local foodways. Join a cohort or engage with us through community programming.
A community resource for theatre and storytelling to create belonging, dialogue, & social change. Engage with our collective at a workshop or performance.