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Story Bridge at Lopez, WA


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This report documents the Story Bridge & Sequel at Lopez, WA in March 2018. Invited by the award-winning Lopez Community Land Trust, the Story Bridge team came to the island endowed with natural beauty, rich heritage, and a thriving community. This two-day workshop on March 10 & 11, 2018 consisted of a Play-in-A-Day workshop on the first day followed by community dialogue and visioning on the second day. During the event, diverse community members came together to unite in deepened relationship and chart pathways for Food, Farming and Affordable Housing for the Next Generation.

Report prepared by Lopez Community Land Trust
Project Funded by Catholic Campaign for Human Development

To learn more:

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Story Bridge at Lopez, WA

  1. 1. Three professionals constitute the leadership for Story Bridge. Richard Geer is the artistic director and the founder of Story Bridge. People Magazine says "Director Richard Geer heals troubled communities with the magic of theatre—and the gift of new hope.”
  2. 2. He is joined by Qinghong Wei, Executive Director, a scholar, & artist who has served as CEO of a prestigious foundation and co-founder of an award-winning social enterprise.
  3. 3. Also part of the team is Iega (Kevin Jeff) an internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer. Iega is named as one of the The Juilliard School’s 100 Outstanding Alumni in celebration of the school’s centenary anniversary and co-founder & artistic director of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater in Chicago.
  4. 4. Story Bridge Lopez began with a daylong interactive session of collecting community stories, culminating in a community performance open to everyone that same evening.
  5. 5. Everyone participated, whether on stage acting, or making music, or behind the scenes….
  6. 6. …or being the original source of a story.
  7. 7. The power of telling your neighbor’s story is difficult to describe.
  8. 8. We were fortunate to have 4 members of the Lummi tribe participate with the community.
  9. 9. The following day our deepened relationships provided the groundwork for our exploring food, farming and affordable housing for the next generation.
  10. 10. The TED talk of The Danger of a Single Story was shared, bridging the two days’ events.
  11. 11. Through art we portrayed what secure housing looked like.
  12. 12. We explored the issues of why farming is at a crisis level on Lopez. What are the challenges and why?
  13. 13. We shared from Duane Elgin: A natural tendency is for people to separate and seek islands of safety to ride out the disruptive storms of transition.
  14. 14. However, if we pull apart and seek our personal security by retreating from today’s issues, we are denying reality. Our situation is unprecedented: This generation is being pushed by an injured Earth and pulled by a welcoming Universe to make a monumental gift to humanity’s future:
  15. 15. Unless the great diversity of humanity can find an awe- inspiring bridge to a compelling future that is grounded in a commonly felt experience of tremendous, untapped evolutionary potential, we will not have the soulful motivation needed to turn from separation and survival to community and co-evolution.
  16. 16. We explored Trim Tabs that have affected change in the past, and how we can be trim tabs for a sustainable Lopez in the future.
  17. 17. We closed with the question: “if you knew you could not fail, what would you do to help Lopez?”
  18. 18. "I had high expectations going into last weekend, and they dramatically surpassed them. I walked through town today during lunch and ran into four people in succession that had been present at storybridge this weekend, and our greetings were joyful. There was a mutual seeing that was validating of the lasting changes that were brought about this weekend. I am so grateful to you for believing in the healing power of story and its vital place in building a strong and vibrant community.”
  19. 19. "As our own Lopez stories continued to unfold while we were there on Saturday , I think both my son and I were able to better hold it all. I knew the weekend would be awesome. I knew I needed it. It surpassed all expectations.”
  20. 20. “It amazes me how much came out of this event. I was on the ferry with [a participant] and we were full of brainstorms about how to make it happen with regularity, to help build trust and compassion among our community. Pretty amazing experience. A couple of folks have commented on our play. I appreciate their kind comments but mostly I think it did so much for us all to work through it, for me to work through it, it was so valuable for just me that I can hardly relate how powerful and positive it might have been for anyone else.”
  21. 21. “I hope we can call Story Bridge back again soon.”
  22. 22. Report Prepared by Lopez Community Land Trust Project Funded by Catholic Campaign for Human Development To learn more: