Story Aperture

Organization: Jewish Women's Archive, Brookline, MA

Grant Year: 2016

Project Director: Mikki Pugh

Type of Grant: Signature

Grant Amount: $45,000.00 (1 year)

Website: https://jwa.org/

To launch Story Aperture, a new project that will enable people of all ages – in classrooms and beyond – to use mobile technology to collect and share the stories of Jewish women. In this way, JWA will be able to expand the range of role models it offers the public, including both accomplished pioneers and more accessible models of everyday leadership.

While Story Aperture will ultimately appeal to a wide, general audience, it will be developed and launched within an educational framework. In Year 1 of the project, JWA will leverage longstanding educational expertise and partnerships to develop story collecting units for educational settings, as well as for JWA’s Rising Voices Fellowship (RVF), a national teen leadership program. The activities of Year 1 will build a corps of trained story collectors, seed the collection, and develop the tools for the second stage of the project.

Beginning in January 2017, JWA will recruit the first cohorts of story collectors through their national network of supporters, partner organizations, RVF fellows/alumnae, and educators. JWA staff will facilitate in-person trainings with each cohort to prepare participants for the interview process. With the assistance of JWA staff, story collectors will identify subjects and conduct the interviews on their own time. As the stories are submitted, JWA staff will curate them into online features.

During Year 2 of the project, while continuing direct training and supervision of story collecting cohorts, JWA will launch the public portion of the project, providing open access to mobile technology that will allow individuals worldwide to access interview questions and prompts, record conversations, and upload them to the JWA site. They will market the tools through social media, education networks, and during on-the-ground events. At these events, we will bring a mobile story booth and, with on-site recording, introduce people to story collecting methodology while supplying questions that are connected to the event themes. As material is collected, staff will continue to curate and integrate it into online exhibits and/or podcasts.