Each month, Thurston Community Media (TCMedia)’s Mission Nonprofit connects with local organizations and agencies that are making positive impacts in our communities. This month, Mission Nonprofit host Robert Kam sat down with Meg Rosenberg and Elaine Vradenburg of Window Seat Media.
Window Seat Media is a local nonprofit that focuses on oral history and storytelling, with a mission to use these to spark conversation, connection and social change in our area. “Any space where we can come together and reflect on who we are, amplify stories from our community and come together, we love to create spaces like that,” shares Meg, who is the “community weaver” – community engagement, storytelling projects and development manager – for Window Seat Media.
Their projects include a variety of different ways to tell a story. It could be podcasts, dance, theater, poetry, etc. And their goal is to then create conversations round those subjects.
Learn to Tell Your Story with Window Seat Media
Window Seat Media is all about community engagement and education. “Our model has always been really community based,” explains Elaine, who is the “memory activist” – curator of community oral history projects, cultural documentation and founder – for Window Seat Media. With a background in oral history and folklore, she has graduate level training in interviewing and ethnography. “What I really love do it teach other people those skills so that they can have meaningful conversations with people they care about in their community.”
For example, one of their recent projects was The Third Thirty project. This oral history project involved people bringing in someone they admired from the community, interviewing them, transcribing and then editing it to share with the community.
One of the main reasons they are recording these stories, is to help us not repeat mistakes of the past, especially when it comes to social issues.
Window Seat Media also has a theater program, called Brave Practice. The program uses playback theater, where members share dialogue and stories and then have those stories played back to them right then. The program has been around for about a year and has been working specifically with youth.
“The skills that playback theater teaches, it’s on the first part of it, it’s interviewing, right,” shares Meg. “But then also with youth it’s that self-expression piece and that social emotional learning part of coming together in a group, hearing other people’s stories and developing empathy around hearing other people’s stories.”
Currently they have an exhibit at the Olympia City Hall called a Photo Voice Exhibit. A local photographer took photos of all the participants in The Third Thirty project that is paired with their short audio story. They are also working on a project with the Olympia Heritage Community, gathering stories from Olympia’s music history spanning from 1980 to 2001. Window Seat Media is partnering with Kelsey Smith from Lefty Copywriting and Research Services. They are currently in the research phase of this project, which will then be shared with the public during the second phase.
For more information, watch the full video above and visit the Window Seat Media website.
You can watch Mission Nonprofit on channel 77 on Sundays at 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch on TCMedia.org, Video On-Demand or our Roku channel. To learn more about what TCMedia does, visit the Thuston Community Media YouTube channel or the TC Media website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.