ONE VALLEY, MANY STORIES
Unearthing Stanislaus County’s Diverse Narratives
Welcome to One Valley, Many Stories, a project brought to you by the Prospect Theater Project in collaboration with the Artist Lab. Funded by the Heartland Grant, we aim to uplift, empower, and unite the diverse communities of Stanislaus County through storytelling and performing arts. Our project is designed to foster social, civic, and cultural growth, focusing on marginalized populations in California’s Healthy Place Index’s bottom quartile.
What is the Project About?
The project is a mix of interactive storytelling, interviews, and performances that represent the rich cultural, social, and community-driven narratives in Stanislaus County. Our intent is not just to entertain but to create a heightened sense of awareness about social justice, community engagement, public health, and climate mitigation.
Area of Focus
We are committed to concentrating on four significant areas:
Public Health Awareness
Stories that shed light on the community’s efforts and struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Narratives that focus on water and energy conservation, climate mitigation, and emergency preparedness.
Stories that encapsulate the spirit of democracy, including election participation.
Social Justice and Community Engagement
Narratives that highlight the struggles and triumphs of marginalized communities in social justice quests.
Why Stanislaus County?
Our primary focus is on Stanislaus County because it’s a diverse community with unique stories that often go unheard. We are particularly interested in working with populations living in ZIP codes 95351, 95354, 95358, 95319, 95307, and 95380.
We’re bringing together a mix of civic leaders, community heads, and cultural icons to form an advisory group that will guide this initiative. The objective is to identify the most relevant and meaningful stories that represent the essence of Stanislaus.
Interviews and Story Gathering
Through interviews and story collection, we intend to delve deep into the shared experiences of community members. We will consider narratives related to the focus areas and ask questions like:
“How did your family come to Stanislaus County?”
“What are some of your family traditions?”
“What does social justice mean to you?”
Artistic Development and Performances
Stories collected will be molded into performances. We plan to employ up to 36 artists and identify 50 community storytellers for this endeavor. These stories will be presented through workshops and ultimately turned into full-scale productions, guided by experienced artists and directors.
Who We Are
Our Program Developer
Shannon Stevens has been an active part of the Prospect Theater Project since 2022 when she was cast in a production of Top Girls and again appeared on stage in 2023’s production of Sight Unseen. She continues to co-host PTP’s “Page to Stage,” a community event that offers valued opportunities for audiences to engage more deeply with the texts of the plays at PTP. Outside of PTP, Dr. Stevens is an associate professor of journalism in the English department at CSU Stanislaus where she advises the student newspaper and serves as co-director of the Creative Media major. A writer and scholar with interests in media, film, and oral history, she was drawn to “One Valley, Many Stories” from the start and is thrilled to bring her varied experiences to the project as its artistic coordinator.
Our Advisory Board
Joseph Campbell Foundation
MoSt Poetry Center Vice President
KCBP Community Radio Programmer
This timeline provides a chronological overview of our project’s key milestones, events, and achievements.
In this phase, we’ll engage community leaders and form our advisory group. This phase will be carried out mostly at the Prospect Theater Project and the Artist Lab.
We will develop stories and storytelling methods during this phase. A series of improvisational workshops will be conducted.
FREE Public Event
This is when we showcase the polished stories in a series of performances at the Prospect Theater Project, the Artist Lab, and the Modesto Silos.
Post performances, we’ll assess the impact of our program objectives.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I share my story?
Contact us through the form below, and we’ll guide you through the process.
Are there any age restrictions for participants?
We’re aiming for a multigenerational audience ranging from 16 to 80+
How do I attend a workshop?
Keep an eye on our ‘Upcoming Events’ section or subscribe to our newsletter for updates.
Thanks to Our Sponsors!
We extend our deepest gratitude to the Heartland Creative Corps mission. This journey, filled with stories, performances, and shared dreams, would not have been possible without the generous grant and support we received.
Want To Get Involved?
We invite you to be a part of this exciting initiative. Whether you're an artist, a storyteller, or someone who wants to support this project, there are multiple ways to get involved.