In the fall of 2008, the Mizel Museum recorded ten “Stories of Resilience” for its exhibit, “Voices of Resilience”. Using the medium of digital storytelling, these stories are the foundation that inspired the Mizel Museum to begin the “Community Narratives Project.” The second stage of this program involved working one-on-one with the selected storytellers to illuminate stories of immigration (individuals from Venezuela to Uzbekistan, Lithuania to Iraq) and to expose the breadth of the Denver/Boulder Jewish community. The project is community building, both within the group by bringing them together to hear each others’ ideas and help each other find the “nugget” for their script, and highlighting the similarities of Jews raised thousands of miles apart.

Each story is scripted by the storyteller who may bring photographs, illustrations, video clips, music and their own recorded voice to create a three minute “movie” of a particular story which has meaning to them. The CNP team works with each storyteller to clarify, shape, and craft their story. Each completed story is presented to the storyteller on a DVD for their personal use as well as being added to the Mizel Museum library of digital stories available for public viewing.

The twenty (three-five minute) digital stories are the heart of the museum’s new permanent exhibit, 4000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks to open in mid-October. We are delighted that they each stand on their own, as well as being the catalyst for links to resources to expand the viewer’s familiarity with the art and culture of the Jewish community.

Stories Matter: Voices of Travelers Past and Present is an opportunity to take these powerful stories into school communities as a catalyst for exploration and expression about cultural identity and preservation in our diverse American mosaic.

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