HOW Agenda: May 18, 2016, Minutes: May 4, 2016

On May 18, 2016, the Heart of Williamsport team will meet from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Student Board room on the 3rd floor of Lycoming College Wertz Student Center.  We will be ‘training’ for story gathering by collecting stories from each other, using outline scripts, audio recorders and flip cameras.  If you have an interest in helping us to collect stories from the community please plan to attend.  If you cannot attend at that time but would like to be involved, please respond by e-mail to so we can schedule another ‘training’ – at a time that works for you.
Important upcoming dates:
Wednesday, 5/18 11am – 1pm  Team meeting for story gathering – we will be offering a story gathering ‘training’ at that meeting.
Thursday, 5/26 – Beloved Community Council hosting a round table gathering for Heart of Williamsport storytelling. Mary Welch Honors hall 5:00- 8:30pm. (see attached flyer)
Saturday, 5/28 – 2nd St. Block Party (we will attend and have a table, maybe record some stories, definitely capture rack card responses (see attached)
Friday, 6/3 – First Friday, we will have a setup downtown for capturing stories.
Friday, 7/1 – First Friday, we will have a setup downtown for capturing stories.
For this project to be a success we will need volunteers to assist with gathering stories, analyzing stories, and data entry.  Not all of this work involves public outreach or meeting attendance; some of these tasks can be done working independently in your own home.  If you have an interest to be involved please let us know and we will find a way for you to be involved that works for you.
Notes from our last meeting are found below and can be downloaded here:

Meeting Minutes: May 4, 2016

Richard James, Scarlett Littman, Dallas Miller, Alice Trowbridge, Jerry Walls, Mary Woods

Update from Saturday’s events:
Mary, Richard and Alice promoted  at both Unity Fest (Brandon Park) and Taco on the Block (West 4th Street) on Saturday, April 30, 2016. A diverse representation of the City attended each event, and a total of 54 rack card responses were submitted and 3 interviews were audio recorded.

As of 5/3 the on-line survey had 177 submissions, with a wide diversity of respondents; this is 21 days after the survey was posted.   

Mission Statement

Feedback from persons in the general public indicated that they are unclear as to what it is that we are doing.  To address this the following revised mission statement was proposed – to be more specific about what it is that we are doing and why. (this can still be ‘word-smithed’)

Using storytelling as a way to connect with the people of Williamsport to hear what they like, what they want, and what they want to see change. Collecting stories from a group of people as diverse as our community, identifying what they value, and using this to develop vision statements to guide local decision making. 

Draft Master List of Interviewees –

  • We are developing a list of persons for one-on-one story-gathering.  We reviewed a draft list of categories of data we will want to collect to help us ‘code’ their stories for qualitative analysis.
  • There are currently 107 names of persons to approach for interviews. 
  • Volunteers:  we need to engage more people with doing our work.
    • Volunteers are needed to assist our interns; meeting with people to collect their stories.
    • Training for persons interested in volunteering with story-gathering will be offered at our next meeting on 5/18 from 11am – 1:00pm. A second date/time will be offered for another training to accommodate schedules of potential volunteers and include interns.
    • All stories will need to be analyzed and entered as ‘data’ – volunteers will be needed for this as well.
  • We need to begin outreach to schedule interview times. Interns will be available as of May 23, so we could have interviews scheduled as early as 5/25.  Maybe team members could be interviewed by interns first – possibly May 24th – allowing everyone to get comfortable with the setup before we interview the general public.

Upcoming Events (May- June)

  • May Fest – Sat. 5/7 Mary, Richard, Jerry and Alice will host a table from noon – 8pm (Pajama Factory). This is an arts fest located in the Memorial Avenue neighborhood that will attract a broad demographic of attendees.
  • May 26 – HoW / Beloved Community Council Round Table for Storytelling, Thursday, 5:30 – 8:00pm (doors open at 5pm). Mary Welch Honors Hall (Lycoming College) corner of Basin and Fourth Streets. This will be ‘’Group Stories” – breakout groups of approx. 6 persons with a facilitator.
    • Story Gathering Training – next group meeting 5/18 11am – 1pm.
  • May 28 – (new) Second Street neighborhood block party, with a rededication of their Peace Pole.  Organized by the Neighborhood Strategic Area (NSA).
  • June 3rd – First Friday. Alice spoke with Bonnie Katz who said to check into her store at 4pm, pay $10 fee, and get assigned a location.  She will distance us from the live music to reduce background noise for recording stories.

Next Steps

  • All – work on volunteer recruitment; who would enjoy connecting with people in this way?
  • Robin will promote our upcoming events on our social media pages.
  • Richard will confirm the May 26th BCC venue and develop a flyer to promote the event.  He will post this flyer on the BCC social media pages and provide it to Robin for the HoW pages. (Alice will send logo images)
  • Alice – purchase additional audio recorders for the training.
  • Alice – update Master Interviewee list and circulate for review and comment. Contact persons doing outreach to network connectors to see how they are progressing.
  • Alice – organize training materials for 5/18/2016.
  • Scarlett – develop excel spreadsheet based on Orton Foundation guidance. Begin to input data from the rack cards.

Team / Group meeting – Wednesday, May 18, 11am to 1:00pm

This meeting will focus on training facilitators for gathering stories for Heart of Williamsport.  Anyone who can attend the May 26th round table and assist with story gathering should attend. Unless otherwise noted, we will continue to meet in the Student Board Room on the 3rd floor of the Lycoming College Wertz Student Center at this time each 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month.