By John Arnold
What’s your story?
That’s the question the City and County of Denver is asking residents as part of “I Am Denver,” its new multimedia storytelling project.
The initiative will engage the community, give voice to underrepresented residents and capture Denver’s past and present for future generations, said Rowena Alegria, the city’s chief storyteller and a Metropolitan State University of Denver alumna.
“At this time, when the city has gone through so many rapid changes, the mayor and I feel it’s important to capture yesterday and today for tomorrow,” Alegria said.
With the help of community partners including MSU Denver, Alegria and her team are collecting stories through the project’s website, as well as through a series of free storytelling labs being held across the city. Residents attending those labs will get storytelling tips from writing coaches and then have the opportunity to record their story in writing, in audio or on video.
“I Am Denver” was developed following last year’s Denver Talks program, which included a series of “community conversations” focused on race and justice, Alegria said. The initiative is inspired by storytelling projects such as StoryCorps and Humans of New York.
“We realized in the course of those meetings that people had important stories to tell, and that they wanted to talk about this city, about where it has been and where it’s going,” she said. “So, we developed ‘I Am Denver’ to do that, to hear those stories.”
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