Nonprofit Mission Spotlight: Window Seat Media

EEvery month, the nonprofit mission of Thurston Community Media (TCMedia) connects with local organizations and agencies that positively impact 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 it to spark conversation, connection, and social change in our region. “Any space where we can come together and reflect on who we are, amplify the stories of our community and come together, we love creating spaces like this,” shares Meg, who is the “community weaver” – community engagement, storytelling projects and head of development – ​​for Window Seat Media.

Their projects include a variety of different ways to tell a story. It can be podcasts, dance, drama, poetry, etc. And their goal is to then create conversations around those topics.

Learn to tell your story with Window Seat Media

Window Seat Media is focused on community engagement and education. “Our model has always been really community-based,” says Elaine, who is the “Memory Activist” – curator of community oral history projects, cultural documentation and founder – of Window Seat Media. With a background in oral history and folklore, she has university-level training in interviewing and ethnography. “What I really enjoy is teaching others these skills so they can have meaningful conversations with the 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 them and then editing them to share with the community.

One of the main reasons they record these stories is to help us avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, especially when it comes to social issues.

Courageous practice

Window Seat Media also has a theater program, called Brave Practice. The program uses reading theatre, where members share dialogue and stories and then have those stories re-enacted on the spot. The program has been around for about a year and works specifically with young people.

“The skills that reading theater teaches, it’s about the first part, it’s the interview, isn’t it,” Meg shares. “But also with young people, it’s that part of self-expression and that part of social-emotional learning of coming together in a group, hearing each other’s stories and developing empathy in hearing other people’s stories.”

Currently, they have an exhibit at Olympia Town Hall called Photo Voice Exhibit. A local photographer took photos of all the participants in The Third Thirty project which is associated with their short audio story. They are also working on a project with the Olympia Heritage Community, bringing together stories from Olympia’s music history spanning from 1980 to 2001. Window Seat Media is partnering with Kelsey Smith of Lefty Copywriting and Research Services. They are currently in the research phase of this project, which will then be shared with the public in 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.

About Nereida Nystrom

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