Legacies Intergenerational Project (1999-2000)
The Legacies Intergenerational Project initially began as a multi-disciplinary project that would work with 100 youths and elders to partner for a year-long project in creative writing, audio production, interviewing, oral history and visual art. Participants would create a book of writing and art and a CD of audio stories that would be presented to the public on radio.
MediaRites expanded the project to include a summer media arts camp with eight youth working with up to 30 seniors, a series of workshops in downtown Portland at the World Trade Center with about 30 youth and families, a class at Roosevelt High School in North Portland that worked with a dozen elders, and a family fair celebration at PGE Portland Service Center that included more than 60 youth, families and elders. More than 150 youths and elders were affected by this year-long project.
MediaRites also did two-day workshops for 12 students at Waldorf School, six students at Mt. Tabor Middle School and for 10 elders at Volunteers of America. The project also produced the “Legacies Handbook/CD,” a guidebook with companion CD for families, schools and community groups to replicate the Legacies project on their own.
MediaRites worked with a wide variety of community, school and neighborhood groups who were involved in planning and implementing the residencies and workshops. These groups included the following: Portland Impact Seniors Program, Southeast Multicultural Center, Roosevelt High School, Teacher Carolyn Young Nicola, Principal Bonnie Hobson, Mount Tabor Middle School, Teacher Thomas Koyama, Principal Cynthia Gilliam, PGE’s Power Generation Kids, KBOO-FM radio, IRCO, Waldorf School, Volunteers of America, and Rex Recording and Video Post.
The Legacies Intergenerational Project had the widest and most direct impact on the Portland community than any other MediaRites project to date. This project reached out to more than 100 Asian-American, Asian, African-American, Native American, European-American, Latino youth and elders directly through media, writing and arts residencies, and workshops through out the tri-county Portland area.
MediaRites also worked one-on-one with youth and elders to produce artwork and radio stories. And finally, we created a lasting legacy in the Legacies Handbook and CD that has be made available to participants whose work has been compiled in the project and to families, schools and community groups for a donation so they may pursue their own oral history projects in the future.
The Legacies Intergenerational Project reached the greatest diversity of at-risk youth and youth of color ages 12-18 and elders of color ages 55-80. Geographically the project took place in Southeast, North and downtown Portland. The majority of youth and elders ranged economically from homeless and subsidized housing individuals to middle-class and working families. This project also was successful in the bridging of intergenerational and cultural differences which is primary to MediaRites mission.