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Decatur, Savannah College of Art, Design collecting stories for 200 Stories until May 14

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Decatur, Savannah College of Art, Design collecting stories for 200 Stories until May 14

The city of Decatur is working with the Savannah College of Art and Design and StoryCorps to capture stories as part of the 200 Stories project in celebration of the city's bicentennial. Photo courtesy of SCAD.

Decatur, GA — The city of Decatur is partnering with Savannah College of Art and Design and StoryCorps to collect stories for the 200 stories project. SCAD students will be gathering stories until May 14. Recordings will take place from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays at Legacy Park, 500 S. Columbia Drive.

Throughout the year-long partnership, SCAD students will collect stories and develop creative materials to promote the city’s milestone anniversary. Stories will be collected from community members, past and present. Anyone interested in participating can schedule an appointment by emailing [email protected] Walk-ins are also welcome, according to a press release.

“It is important when celebrating the city of Decatur’s bicentennial that we focus on what makes the city special—its rich history and people,” said Maken Payne, executive director at SCADpro. “Our SCAD students are excited to work alongside city leadership and Decatur residents to preserve that history by contributing to the 200 Stories Initiative.”

The first phase of the project started with SCAD students developing special recording technology being used to preserve the stories of Decatur residents. The 200 Stories Initiative, modeled after StoryCorps, will record and archive 200 stories from a diverse cross-section of people in the Decatur community. Stories will be used to create a visual record through film and animation and shared at the official community celebration event.

“Every individual in the Decatur community is what makes it so special and unique,” said Renae Jackson, city of Decatur equity and engagement director. “As we celebrate the city’s bicentennial, it is the perfect time to elevate and uplift the stories and perspectives of the people who have and continue to contribute to making this place what is today and what it will be in the future.”

In the next phase, SCAD will present creative design assets to city leadership, which be seen all over Decatur to promote the bicentennial.

Between January to November 2023, SCAD will record stories and edit all audio recordings into 200 audio stories and will visualize 12 select themes or categories of stories as live action or animation to celebrate the city’s bicentennial, city staffers Aileen de la Torre and Renae Jackson previously wrote in a memo.

Participants can also record through StoryCorps’ virtual recording booth.

“Ask and answer questions like: Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What are you proudest of? What does it mean to be ‘from’ Decatur,” the StoryCorps website states.

In September 2022, the Decatur City Commission established a project budget of $260,000 and awarded a contract to the Savannah College of Art and Design for $160,000, as well as awarded a $100,000 contract to StoryCorps Studios for the bicentennial 200 Stories project.

The contract with StoryCorps includes the development of customized conversation groups, a limited number of interviews facilitated by StoryCorps, volunteer training to conduct interviews, and training and support to archive the conversations, according to the memo.

“This monumental project will provide opportunities for members of the Decatur community to connect with each other through different means of engagement (2020 Strategic Plan goal CT. 08), make space for all stories and perspectives to be shared (2020 Strategic Plan goal EQ.11); document stories of community members, past and present, and share their contributions to the community (2020 Strategic Plan goal EQ.18]; and serve as a kick off to Decatur’s ongoing story vault,” the memo states.

For more information, visit: decaturga.com/200stories

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