The Third Thirty

A Community Story Project by Window Seat Media

The Third Thirty Community Oral History Project: Looking Back, Moving Forward

Equal Rights Amendment rally at the state capitol in Olympia, 1972.

What ingredients are needed for creativity, collaboration, and social change to flourish - within ourselves and within our communities? 

How can looking back help us move forward today? What can people who lived through the 1960s and 1970s tell us about the dynamics of social change? 

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. Our 2020/21 project, in partnership with the Looking Back, Moving Forward project, invites Thurston County residents who were living here in the late 1960s/1970s to share their memories and stories of those times. This was a period of sustained unrest – the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the anti-war movement, tribal fishing rights….And it was a time of possibility, as many worked together to collectively revise the story about who we are, what we value, and how we want to live together. We’re curious how people experienced, understood, and created(community, art, legislation…) during this moment in this place.

We are living through another period of social unrest and possibility – in the midst of a pandemic, when there are urgent calls for truth and justice for Black Americans, and when the foundation of our democratic ideals are in question. We offer this mosaic of voices, not as a way to compare these times or offer solutions, but in the hopes that these stories from our community’s elders may provide an opportunity for deep reflection and connection as we do the hard work of reimagining a future together as a community, and nation, today.

The stories we gather will be shared (with permission) through a podcast, a zoom conversation series, and an outdoor community exhibit. The materials collected will be housed in WindowSeat Media’s community archive.

Get Involved! Take the training to become a community oral historian for the project.

REGISTER for the next training: Sat, Dec 5, 1-5PM

Cost: FREE. Donations always appreciated.

We believe in the power of the interview process – both for the person being interviewed and the listener. We want to share this experience with our community, so we’ve set up a model where community members receive training so they can gather stories for the project. Participants enroll in a 4-hour workshop to 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. At the end of the workshop, participants have the skills and tools they need to invite someone to participate (often someone with whom they have a personal relationship), conduct a recorded interview, and finalize the interview transcript for inclusion in the project.

Attention youth ages 16 to 21! 

Our project partner, the Looking Back, Moving Forward project, is offering a $100 stipend to youth who take this training and conduct a recorded interview as part of this project. Limited to 4 youth at the Dec 5 training. Please register at the link above and select the "Oral History Training Youth" ticket level.

Note: Participants interested in editing their interviews into a short audio story may take the audio editing training in early 2021. Stay tuned!

Want to Share Your Story or Collaborate?

If you are interested in participating in an interview or collaborating on this project, please contact Elaine Vradenburgh at elaine Thank you!

Learn more about what to expect as a participant here.

Olympia Oyster House and Percival Landing, 1972.

Funding to re-envision and continue this project has been provided by Humanities Washington and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan of 2020.