NE OKC Storytelling Project

This project is a collaboration between Blackspace Oklahoma and University of Oklahoma College of Architecture. Deborah Richards (principal of Script) was the director of the project and the project was in part sponsored by Script.

The project explores community’s values, identities, ideas, self-identified assets, and connection to spaces by analyzing relationships between stories, histories, and the neighborhood. The project is a three-part lecture series, workshops, and an exhibit. The first event presents the lived and built history of the community. The second event is a panel of experts discussing storytelling methods and their importance in shaping community identities. Through the three workshops, community members have the opportunity to tell their stories at an oral history booth and at a digital storytelling workshop. The final event is a lecture that illustrates how the community can mobilize their stories into tangible positive change, specifically through impacting the design of community spaces. Alongside the workshops and lectures, there is an exhibit of a prior project, Woman of NE Oklahoma City Photovoice, that provided women from the neighborhood to express their ideas about day-to-day life in the neighborhood through photography and written interpretation of that photography.

Through these events, the project not only captures histories and stories of a community, but also explores with community members how their own histories can be used to create stronger community relationships and spaces. The information gathered during the roject will be synthesized into a map with geotagged video, images, and interpretive text. This Community Experience Guide can be built on over time and serve as a reference for people planning urban development, placemaking projects, historians, and community programming.

This project is ongoing. Links to lectures and stories are forthcoming.



Project Lead Organizations: Blackspace Oklahoma and co-sponsored by the University of Oklahoma College of Architecture
Project Organizers: Gina Sofola, Vanessa Morrison, Deborah Richards (project director and principal of Script), Eyakem Gulilat
Sponsors: In part funded by Oklahoma Humanities (OH) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the project do not necessarily represent those of OH or NEH. Other sponsors include The Auditorium at the Douglas, Script, Sofola Associates, Colony/Page Woodson Development LLC, CORT, B&B Catering.