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Heart of Vashon draws big response! Now what?

Wow! We are blown away by the response to our call for stories about what makes living on Vashon so special. And we’re moved by the outpouring of desire, willingness and sincerity that Islanders share in their stories, poems and reflections. More than 150 Islanders sent in writing to be included in the project; we are so grateful and inspired by the responses!

And there’s been some confusion about what’s happens next….There are two different pieces of the project that we are working on – and we are delighted to report that All Island Forum (AIF) is also sponsoring a third outcome. Read on!
Right now, we are crafting a script for a literary performance reading, Heart of Vashon: telling our stories, to be held at Blue Heron in late January in conjunction with an invitational gallery show titled Our Vashon, Our Home. Using excerpts and selections from the submissions, we are weaving elements to illuminate our collective community story, open hearts and make for a meaningful and interesting performance reading.

This production revives the model Mary created with friends in the 1980’s for VAA’s literary arts series, bringing poetry and the spoken word to the Blue Heron performance space. Creating a script is interesting – and challenging, with so much great material. We are very excited about what is coming together!

Michael Barker, a director familiar to Island audiences through his work with Drama Dock, improvisation sessions he offers at Open Space and his presence on Voice of Vashon, will be inviting and auditioning readers. Casting decisions will be made in early December with several read-throughs planned before Dec 21 and rehearsals starting in January.
While our efforts are focused on the reading, AIF is sponsoring Reading, Listening and Responding, on Sunday, January 10, 3 PM at Open Space for Arts and Community. The group is inviting all who have submitted stories, poems and reflections for Heart of Vashon to gather to share their writing, listen to what others feel is important and talk about what’s meaningful. Other interested members of the Vashon community are welcome to attend as well.

We appreciate this addition to our project! There’s so much interest and curiosity; it is wonderful that Islanders will have this chance to read their submissions, hear what others say and have a chance to explore what it all means for our community.

Finally (and perhaps what lies at the heart of all this effort), all the submissions and everything we’ve created for the project will be collected into an archive for the Vashon Heritage Museum. VMIHA is looking to make sure there is contemporary material in the Museum’s collection.

This will likely be a loose-leaf notebook with all submissions printed out and a CD of the computer documents. We’ll include the script for the literary reading and anticipate that VOV may help create an audio or video of the performance. We’re collecting brief demographic information about participants and are proud to record this glimpse into what Islanders have to say about our home on Vashon as we roll into the 21st century.

We are so grateful for all the encouragement and participation our project has generated. Thanks to all the writers and also to our sponsors Vashon Allied Arts, Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Association, All Island Forum and Voice of Vashon.