It’s a difficult chapter that we are all living through right now, and many people have had to find ways to help raise their spirits. Whether it’s picking up a new hobby, getting in touch with loved ones consistently, or maybe really just taking time to get to know yourself again, everyone is coping differently. But what isn’t so different is that need to connect shared human experience to persevere through uncertainty.
First Person Arts recognizes that, and has created a digital memoir platform for all amidst this global pandemic, “Covid Stories.”
The local nonprofit organization has been serving the City of Brotherly Love with memoirs and documentaries shining a light on unique personal experiences for almost two decades, and just because the world has seemed to slow down to stop the spread of the coronavirus, what hasn’t slowed down is the instinct to connect with others. “Covid Stories” follows First Person Art’s enveloping creative model and offers everyone a chance to tell their story while self-isolating.
“We’ve been thinking a lot about how our community is dealing with isolation,” said First Person Art’s Executive Director, Jamie Brunson in the release. “I’ve had numerous conversations with our board of directors about how storytelling can build and serve the community during this pandemic. Thanks to them, I’ve come to see that First Person Arts is positioned to make a unique contribution to the community during this time. We believe that storytelling and story sharing can be used to connect people and in doing so, hopefully, assuage anxiety and fear. Help us document how people are responding to, and what they are thinking and feeling, beyond medical data, during this time. First Person Arts is in a position to archive these stories to document this pandemic.”
There’s something cathartic about unleashing your emotions. In the practice of meditation, one lesson learned is that you’re not as alone as you think. Sometimes in life, overwhelming thoughts or feelings can have you feeling isolated like you’re the only person going through a particular obstacle, the reality is though that millions of people every day feel those same emotions and have those same thoughts—we just don’t express them enough to make that link.
What are your experiencing during this period of history? Whether you’re self-isolating at home or working for an essential business, chances are others are experiencing the same moments, just in their own unique way.
“First Person Arts has spent years organizing in-person educational experiences, including group workshops and individual coaching. We recognize how important it is now to equip people through online opportunities so that they might connect, learn new skills, and share their own stories,” shared Dr. Neil Bardhan, Director of Applied Storytelling in the release.
The release also states that there is an ongoing open call for video and audio submissions. The project asks people to sit in front of a camera (or microphone) and share their experience for 5 minutes. Every 3 days, FPA will issue a new prompt on its website and social media platforms—these prompts can be anything from, “What are your cooking during the pandemic,” to “What has social distancing taught you about yourself that you didn’t know.” Your job is to record your story and email it to First Person Arts with the subject ‘Covid Stories.’ Submitting your story is free, and can be done so on First Person Art’s official website as well.
Beyond “Covid Stories,” First Person Arts will also be implementing a series of digital workshops designed by its staff to not only help motivate people to mold their experiences into stories, but to also teach them how to connect with others through story-sharing.
The power of story-telling is stronger than you think. Whether you’re looking to share your own, or you want to hear others, check out First Person Arts digitally while social distancing. You might be surprised at who’s story will be relatable, entertains you, teaches you something, or just allows you to feel connected just a bit more.
To learn more visit, firstpersonarts.org