1500 Stories

This campaign ended on December 02, 2018, but you can still make a gift to Foothill-De Anza Foundation by clicking here!

1500 Stories is a collaborative art and digital storytelling project about economic inequality in the U.S.  The project's title was inspired by a data visualization poster by economist Dr. Stephen J. Rose depicting the distribution of income and wealth in the U.S. and the fact that currently the poster would need to be 1500 stories tall to capture the richest 1%--roughly five miles long.  

The goal of this project is to focus public attention on this chasm through storytelling and the arts. Social science scholarship demonstrates the ways in which increasing economic inequality contributes to political polarization, diminishes economic growth, weakens social bonds and wellbeing and undermines democracy. The increasing toxicity of public discourse in our nation is a symptom of this rising economic and class inequality, and one that places the common good in increasing jeopardy.  1500 Stories uses empathy and community building to mend the toxic and polarizing public discourse that the widening economic gap has produced.

Storygathering is the central activity of 1500 Stories.  For the last two years, the project has trained students and community members to ask questions and listen well to people as they share their experiences of life at different economic positions.  1500 Stories now has a collection of nearly 500 in-depth interviews in which people share the real lived experiences that underlay devastating statistics about economic inequality.  The project has trained people to look well; students and volunteers have contributed hundreds of documentary photographs to the project and hundreds have responded to these photographs in interactive workshops and community forums.  1500 Stories is a collaboration of the Euphrat Museum of Art, the Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action, and the California History Center at De Anza College.  All interviews collected for the project will also become part of the permanent archives at the California History Center.  You can learn more about the project at 1500stories.org.

Your donation will help the stories and photographs that De Anza students have contributed reach wider audiences by allowing us to edit them into shareable narratives, develop the 1500 Stories website into a living and interactive archive, and continue to host the public forums about economic inequality we began this year that turn strangers into neighbors.   We believe that, no matter where you fall on the five miles, everyone has a story and everyone's story is worth sharing.  We believe that it is through stories that we can reconnect with our shared and common humanity.

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Pamela J. Forman
KeAndra A Pruss
Juri von Bonsdorff
Mark C. Healy
Jason DeHaan
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