In collaboration with Metro Arts Nashville One Voice Nashville created “My Witness”, a collection of stories from Nashville Civil Rights veterans in a series of 8 podcast episodes. All interviews were conducted by Metro high school students with coaching, training and support from One Voice Nashville Director, Mary Margaret Randall. This project supports the installation of the Nashville Civil Rights-inspired public artwork, Witness Walls, next to the Metro Courthouse in downtown Nashville. #NashvillePublicArt #WitnessWalls #MyWitness
Schools Represented: Big Picture, Hillsboro, Hume-Fogg, Maplewood, Martin Luther King Junior Magnet, and Overton.
To listen to podcasts, visit http://www.witnesswalls.com/podcasts or click on titles below.
Read more about the project in the Nashville Arts magazine here.
One Voice Nashville believes that everyone has a story to share and our stories shape us. As part of Metro Arts THIRVE, One Voice Nashville facilitated programming at the Davidson County Detention Center for the 2016-2017 academic year. Read more below!
In the fall and spring of last year, Mary Margaret from One Voice Nashville visited the Juvenile Detention Center twice a week to work with students on writing, storytelling, and narrative journalism. The peak project involved students interviewing formerly incarcerated men who are now positive role models for young people. These men could speak to these students in a way no one else could- not the teachers, not the guards, and especially, not Mary Margaret. The men spoke to them on a peer-to-peer level. This process was especially touching since these young students had written about family issues in some of the writing exercises, many of them without fathers present in the home.
Many times, at-risk youth, whether in the Detention Center or in the community, have programming or teachers come in, telling them what they need, or delivering instructions with a consequence immediately attached if the students fail to meet the assignment. This was different. Space was created for students to embody their empowerment. They were given the choice to engage, and they all responded.
Post-interview remarks from students include the following:
“Powerful, amazing, intelligent… we had a lot in common. The advice he would have given his younger self was the same stuff I think about.”
“We both made mistakes.”
“Inspired… If you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything.”
“My favorite part was the interviews because they could relate to us.”
As a follow-up project titled “UnLocked”, One Voice Nashville plans to work with five individuals at the Detention Center who will tell a story related to their identity, conflict, and daily life at the Detention Center. Mary Margaret will work with the students to craft their story and then pair each student with an adult male in the community to tell their story on stage. This protects their identity while preserving the authenticity of their voice. In addition, a 5 episode podcast series will tell the story of the Nashville Detention Center from the voices of staff, community advocates, and the storytellers who participate in the event.
One Voice Nashville worked with a special group of students at KIPP during the 2016-2017 academic year. Each student conducted an interview about a topic of their choice including feminism, teaching, detective work, audio production, translating different languages, and writing. They also interviewed a group of students from Nashville’s Sister City, Mendoza, Argentina.