Every single person, regardless of age, socio-economic status, or cultural background, has an important story to tell.  Every story is a piece sewn into the fabric that makes up the patchwork quilt of our society.  Without all the pieces, the quilt lacks richness, depth, and beauty,  because the overall story it tells is incomplete. 

Why does this matter today?  Because when people know they matter, they step forward and contribute to building stronger families and communities.  Community here can be defined as a civic or religious organization, a school, a neighborhood, a group based on a common heritage, and even a farmers’ market. 

Why does this matter for tomorrow?  Because every individual story adds a piece to the whole that tells future generations what worked, what did not work, and what needs to be done to make things better for the next generation.  Like the freedom quilts of the underground railroad, we need these stories to give us direction as we journey into the future.  

Living Voices is currently offering a 6-hour stand alone comprehensive workshop covering the entire process of doing oral history.  This workshop is geared to those who want to document their organization's history and culture. 

            Workshop topics include:

  • An introduction to oral history

  • How to plan your project

  • How to conduct background research for your project

  • How to select interviewers and narrators

  • Ethical and legal considerations

  • Developing interview questions

  • Components of the interview

  • Processing, preserving and sharing interviews

  • Practicing interviewing

  • Memory and oral history

A shorter, stand alone 3-hour workshop focuses solely on the interview process.  Personal interviews of family members bring the newer branches of the family tree to life.  They reveal the thoughts, feelings, and motivations behind those names and dates gathered through hours of genealogy-based research.  

        Workshop topics include:

  • Preparing for the interview

  • Pre-interview appointment

  • Addressing possible narrator concerns

  • The interview process

  • Developing effective questions

  • Effective listening

  • After the interview

Living Voices also offers a 6-week course on sharing your own story.  You don't have to be a writer; you just have to have a story you want to leave as your legacy.  In this workshop, each participant chooses their method for recording their story.  Some may to choose to write, while others may choose record themselves or to have someone record them narrating their story.  Everyone has a story, and everyone's story is important.  It doesn't matter whether your children or grandchildren are interested now, they will be later.  In fact, the value of your story is not dependent on having children or grandchildren.  Your story can be woven together with others to give a more complete picture of a time, place, or event.  This workshop includes ways you can share your story with others should you choose to do so. 

             Course topics include:

  • Understanding why your story matters

  • The positive lessons that can be shared from painful memories and loss

  • Different ways of sharing your story

  • Understanding how memory works and how it influences sharing stories

  • Learning ways to aid memory recall

  • Examining ways to structure your story

  • Learning how participants can personally benefit from sharing their stories

  • How and why to create a memoir group

  • Looking forward to the next chapter in your life

Contact us for more information on workshops or to schedule a complementary talk about oral history for your group.