Community Roots

Cohort Members & Contributors: Community Roots

Meet our Community Roots oral history cohort and project contributors.

Cohort Members & Project Contributors

Since January 2023, a small team of community researchers have been gathering oral histories about three local spaces - Camp Quixote, Liberation Cafe, and Driftwood Day Care. Research ideas came to us from our cohort, who had personal interest and connections to these stories.

Aidyn Dervaes

Driftwood Daycare community researcher, cohort member, and music composer for the Driftwood audio story series

Aidyn Dervaes is an artist and musician based out of Olympia, Washington. She is currently working to uplift art and stories through her passion for historic preservation and communal learning. Aidyn graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2023, where she worked at the Campus Children’s Center for nearly 5 years. This experience taught her about community, multi-generational spaces, and the importance of access to safe, secure, and reputable childcare for all. Aidyn began this project in the summer of 2022 and became obsessed with sharing the stories of the staff, children, and families of the early Driftwood Day Care Center. She hopes to continue her work in the oral histories and exhibition field through community engagement and creating lasting connections.

Mindy Chambers

Camp Quixote community researcher, cohort member

Mindy Chambers is a community activist and award-winning journalist who is incredibly blessed to have worked with Window Seat Media and her cohort members for the past year on the Community Roots project. In the 2000s, she worked alongside many others laying the early groundwork for an organized shelter system in Thurston County, one that now serves hundreds of families and individuals each year. She continues to advocate respect for, and action on, the expressed needs of those seeking safe, healthy spaces in which to live. Mindy is a former board chair for the former Bread and Roses Catholic Worker Community in Olympia, a former member of the Interfaith Works board and has participated in several faith communities. She and her husband Paul have lived in the best neighborhood in Olympia for 35 years and grow a spectacular garden!

Kelsey Smith​​

Liberation Cafe community researcher, cohort member

Kelsey Smith (she/they) is a community organizer and librarian-at-large living in Olympia, Washington. Kelsey founded the Timberland Regional Library Zine Collection and co-founded the annual Olympia Zine Fest. She is the director of Community Print, a volunteer-run community letterpress/print shop in downtown Olympia. In 2022, Kelsey started Lefty Copywriting and Research Services and worked with Elaine Vradenburgh of Window Seat Media and the city of Olympia's Heritage Commission to produce part one of the Olympia Indie Music History project. She continues to work with Window Seat Media on the Community Roots oral history project and currently works part-time in the James F Holly Rare Books Collection at The Evergreen State College.

Aïcha El Beloui

Community Roots project map illustrator

Born in Casablanca, Aïcha El Beloui is a trained architect working as an illustrator, creative director, and graphic designer. Responding to a need to express the invisible urban experience, Aïcha uses research, interviews, drawing, and animation to represent the unwritten narratives present in urban human habitat through its habitants; works produced are displayed in public space. Aïcha currently lives and works in Olympia, WA. More of her work is to be found at

Steven Suski

Liberation Cafe story series music composer

Steven Suski is a visual artist and musician from the Pacific Northwest. Steven has played in bands starting in the 1970's. He moved to Olympia in 1980 and helped form Jumbo Zen. His own band, Allied Body, explored the do it yourself, mixed media approach that was part of his visual art. Allied Body released two cassettes in the 80's and a C.D. In the late 90's.

Nick Rawson

Camp Quixote story series music composer

Additional Contributors

Bryce Black, audio editing and public programming, cohort member

Kristina Cannon, audio editing, cohort member

Rowan Ling, audio editing, cohort member