Featured at the Thursday, May 14, 2009 Fairview Community Council General Membership Meeting was the first public screening of Leadership Anchorage's Fairview Oral/Video History Project, created by a group of five very talented community leaders who are part of this year's Leadership Anchorage class (Regan Garden, Kokayi Nosakhere, Jose Rodriguez, Mary Rydesky, and Mariko Sarafin). It focuses on community activitists in Fairview. Following final edits, copies will be made available to the Council. The project was well-received by those in attendance.
What follows is a story about the project from a recent Leadership Anchorage newsletter:
Community Service Project Report Spotlight -- Fairview Oral History Project:
"Leadership Anchorage participants Regan Garden, Kokayi Nosakhere, Jose Rodriguez, Mary Rydesky, and Mariko Sarafin document stories from community activists within the Fairview Community. Their goal? Creating a visual story of people that live and breathe and grow old there. Learning about Fairview's history, its dweller's dreams, its turn at remembering that they are a community of people that want a comfortable and bright place to live and to raise their kids and grandkids in: that is the story's theme. As videographer Mariko noted, "we are teaching the people of Fairview that there are ears that want to hear their stories, and want to know about why Fairview is worth fighting for." Added Kokayi, "We are seeing what others have done within this solid, stable community and what they are willing to keep doing for the growth of it. We hope that newer and older residents will be inspired to get together and work for what is right for their living spaces."
Fairview Community Council president, Sharon Chamard, presented the proposal to implement this project. Leadership Anchorage team members Regan Garden, Kokayi Nosakhere, Jose Rodriguez, Mary Rydesky, and Mariko Sarafin created the project's plan and completed tasks scheduled over several months. The final product is a DVD illustrating the project's goal - to show why and how community members take action for the betterment of their living environment. "The team brainstormed about ideas, resources, schedules and other aspects of project. Then, with the help of Sharon and Kokayi, we contacted community activists that would be willing to speak conversationally while being recorded on film", Jose recounted. Then, with the generosity of Progressive Media Alaska, the team captured the activists thoughts and memories on mini DV tape and began to turn the tapes into a media production, including editing the interviews into a cohesive story. According to Regan, "This DVD will be available for viewing by the youth in and around Fairview, as well as to Council members, churches, other organizations, and general audiences." Further, it will serve as a cornerstone for ongoing efforts to create an oral history of residents who think of themselves as ordinary, but whose aggregate efforts have been extraordinary in creating a thriving community - a neighborhood - within Anchorage."