GLENDALE – As part of a $20,000 California Humanities For All Project Grant award received in 2017, Glendale’s Downtown Central Library is actively interviewing recent and 2nd and 3rd generation Glendale community members to share their stories.
The project, entitled Tell Me: Stories of Migration to Glendale, includes partner StoryCenter, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to record, preserve, and share the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs.
The first set of video stories was recorded during the Fall of 2018, and a preview will be shown at the Library on Wednesday, March 6 at 7 p.m., to include representatives from the state’s California Humanities program. This will be open to the public. Additional interviews will take place Friday and Saturday, March 15-16, 2019.
Glendale participants are encouraged to take part in this community storytelling project. Staff were trained in collecting oral histories by first sharing their own stories with other participants and have since reached out to gather stories from residents. Professional grade audiovisual software is being used to transform the narratives into videos that tell the experiences of migration and immigration to Glendale from throughout the world.
Work on Tell Me will continue into early Summer 2019, culminating in a Fall exhibition at Downtown Central Library’s ReflectSpace gallery. Using a combination of art, technology, and interactive media to engage visitors on an emotional and personal level, video stories will be integrated into an exhibit by in-house curators Ara and Anahid Oshagan. The exhibition will create a space where a personal reflection on the stories can take place, incorporating multi-dimensional audiovisual and immersive presentations throughout. The exhibition’s opening reception is Friday, September 6 at 7 p.m. The exhibition will run from September 6 to November 8, 2019.
Several artists will be contacted to participate: Jeffery Wolin, a photographer based in Chicago, is well known for his technique of writing stories of Holocaust survivors directly on the portraits he creates. Daniel Heyman accompanies lawyers as they interview their clients who are foreign nationals held by the U.S. Hyman draws portraits and writes excerpts from their interviews on the drawings during the actual interview. Glendale’s Library, Arts & Culture Department will continue to collect oral histories, and the ReflectSpace multimedia exhibition is intended encourage visitors to consider sharing additional personal narratives over time and into the future.
In addition, associated programs are planned around the idea of shared stories and shared food across the table. A partnership with the Glendale Unified School District will provide opportunities for student learning. For more information contact Library Project Director Lora Martinolich, (818) 548-3749.
ReflectSpace is an inclusive exhibition gallery designed to explore and reflect on major human atrocities, genocides, and civil rights violations. Immersive in conception, ReflectSpace is a hybrid space that is both experiential and informative, employing art, technology, and interactive media to reflect on the past and present of Glendale’s communal fabric and interrogate current-day global human rights issues.