A-Place-To-Call-Home is a co-creative community arts initiative using Story to communicate through multi-media:
Spoken Word/Audio, Prose & Poetry, Music, Visual Arts, Performing Arts,
Film/Video, and New Media
The purpose of this project is to shift perceptions from a "Them & Us" mindset to one of "Common Humanity" where, through collaboration, creative solutions to difficult and multi-faceted problems can be developed, creating the kind of world in which we all wish to live.
Story connects us to our Humanity.
The Arts, Humanities, and Media communicate Story.
The result is Cultural Transformation.
This project began in October of 2016, in collaboration with KVMR Community Radio in Nevada City, California, and The Co-Creation Community/CoPassion Project,
a socially-conscious for-profit small business.
In 2017, A-Place-To-Call-Home received the California Humanities, Humanities for All Quick Grant and the California Arts Council, Arts & Public Media Grant, partially funded by The National Endowment for the Humanities and The National Endowment for the Arts,
providing partial funding for the A-Place-To-Call-Home project.
What We Accomplished from 2016 to 2019
Through this project, we have given Voice to five specific groups involved
with homelessness in Nevada County:
Those working with organizations serving the homeless
Officials charged with finding solutions
In 2017, we collected over 60 audio stories from these groups..
These stories were professionally recorded at the KVMR Community Radio Station in Nevada City, CA, and posted on KVMR's StoryCatchers page, and on the Audio Story Showcase, on our robust dedicated APTCH website. We created over 30 short soundbites from all stories caught as well as the longer, complete versions for the public to hear.
We produced a 2018 Daily Compassionate Action Wall Calendar, with photographs by artist Dee Anne Dinelli and "compassionate actions" or simple acts of kindness to take, highlighted for each day of the year.
We produced and presented a multi-media event at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, CA, attended by 300+ people, where we shared stories of transformation through a gallery show of fine art and artists' reception, followed by a main stage event. The intention was to shift perceptions about homelessness, and through a written survey from attendees, we documented shifts that occurred that night.
Building On Our Success in 2018-2021:
For four years, we've been bringing the A-Place-To-Call-Home Project to the 10th grade at Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning (SAEL), a charter public high school, for their Spring Semester expedition on “Surviving and Thriving”. We collaborated with their instructors to create a program with measurable results.
. StoryCircles are a facilitated experience bringing diverse community members, including youth, homeless people, LGBTQ persons, people of color and indigenous people, community leaders, and concerned citizens face to face in an intimate setting to talk about important issues, hear one another, connect, and envision the way forward. The StoryCircle experience allows the participants to connect in intimate and profound ways, and perceptions to shift, inspiring participants to take compassionate
action their lives.
In 2021, we continued our Spring Semester program with SAEL, and brought it into the virtual world. Funded by new grant from California Humanities, we've pivoted APTCH, expanded it to be "Voices of Our Story" and we are excited to take our project to an expanded audience that a virtual experience offers. We are creating a short film and a curriculum package that will be available in 2022
We produced 12 videos for Nevada County Community Media Center (NCTV) using the soundbites from our 2016-17 content, which were used in the production of a series on homelessness in the program, Where Do We Go From Here?. These videos can be viewed at the break between segments of the nine shows in this series.
Evolving and Moving Forward
The A-Place-To-Call-Home project has had an inspiring and amazingly successful run over the past several years. We have connected with such a diverse and talented community, learned so much from the people who've been involved and the experiences we have designed, facilitated, and in which we've participated.
Growth and change is an expected and positive part of evolution and transformation. One of the most rewarding parts of the APTCH project was working with the SAEL 10th Grade students, and so, moving forward, we will continue with a youth and community-based emphasis, always with the focus of shifting perceptions by communicating through Story and multi-media Arts. .
How Can You Help and Get Involved?
Projects of the scope of A-Place-To-Call-Home and Voices of Our Story need the support and participation of literally hundreds of people—a whole and diverse community—to be successful. This includes financial support. We have been fortunate to have funding from grants and sponsors in the past, but this is never guaranteed nor enough, to sustain a program like ours. It takes a village, and all support is welcome, whether it is financial, participation at the grass-roots level, online, or by spreading the word about these projects through the press and social media.