Photos By Kate Szorm

We are thrilled and honored to collaborate with Shalanda Sims, writer and director of Vanport, The Musical, in capturing more stories. She and her cast will participate to our first Story Harvest, interviewing survivors at Jefferson High School, in preparation of their performance (July30-August 1st). You do not want to miss Vanport, the Musical! The first date is already sold out, so hurry up and get your tickets here

Through Shalanda's own words: 

"When I started this Vanport journey over seven years ago it was simply to learn my family history but the story of this city I'd never heard of before captivated me.  I became obsessed with wanting more information. However, the only written information I found was extremely political, data heavy and documentary.  
My great-grandmother came to Oregon during WWII to work in the shipyards...my family has been here ever since.  I wanted to know what it was like to live in Vanport, what it smelled like, how people felt down in their innermost being. Why did my great-grandmother choose to stay? The answers came from my mother, grandmother and other natives like Mrs. Regina Flowers who grew up in Vanport and Ms. Stell who was one of the first women workers there. The more they shared, the more Vanport extended beyond my family tree. I knew this was a story I had to tell in the best way I know how...on the stage.
After the script was finished and the play premiered other survivors shared their stories with me.  But, there was no way I could incorporate everyone's personal story in my script. It is a  privilege to work with Laura Lo Forti of the Vanport Media Project in preserving these stories of elders who contributed to this country in an extraordinary and noteworthy way. 
I hope you will attend this three day event as well as help me spread the word so as many people as possible can see this play."