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Community Media Center captures community stories

The Grand Rapids Community Media Center held its annual meeting Thursday night- but this time, the event was used as a chance to capture the stories of our community.
Underwriting support from:

/Holly Bechiri

/Holly Bechiri

Thursday night, the Community Media Center (CMC) staff and board members gathered together their members to share the story of what our organization has been doing at the event "Elevating Voices" at the Wealthy Theatre. A video, highlighting the work and community participants of WYCE, GRTV, Education, Nonprofit Services, Wealthy Theatre and The Rapidian, set the state for attendees to tell their own stories. They were then sent out throughout the theatre's building to explore a full list of ways for the people of our community to tell their own stories as well.

The crowd quickly got involved in every station, including:

  • COMMUNITY STORY MURAL: A hand-drawn story captured through time lapse photography started with an empty tree and ended with expressions of what makes up the Grand Rapids community.
  • DRAW MY STORY: Using a picture as a prompt, the volunteer spent 2-3 minutes to recall a local event, activity or encounter. Meanwhile, our artist was capturing the story in a comic style drawing- which was shown in progress on the big screen behind the storyteller.
  • OUR NEVER-ENDING STORY: Starting with an opening line placed in Grand Rapids, participants would each add 1-3 sentences, and then leave the story for the next person to add to it. 
  • STORY CIRCLE: Using picture cards featuring local places, ideas and projects as inspiration, participants used this age-old method of storytelling by sharing their stories in a circle. 
  • REMEMBER THIS!: These stories with friends focused on memories related to community: moving to Grand Rapids, discoveries in the city, growing up, changes and connections that have been built within this place.

The event and stories were captured in photos and video, and during the time of just a 15 minute business meeting, a video mash-up was created by the talented people of GRTV:

CMC Annual Meeting Mashup from GRTV on Vimeo.

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