New and Improved Storymobile 2.0
Brings Better People-Powered Storytelling
to the Streets of Saint Paul
Clarence White, firstname.lastname@example.org
SAINT PAUL (June 4, 2016) Construction is complete on the second version of Storymobile, Storymobile 2.0. Storymobile is a moveable engagement space that makes it easy for people to share, display, and preserve the stories that matter to them. Now, with Storymobile 2.0 at events, festivals and gatherings all over Saint Paul, sharing our stories will be even easier.
During the past two years, Storymobile has engaged residents in collecting Saint Paul stories that depict the vibrant and changing community in which we live.
“Storymobile is a mobile unit for community engagement,” said Storymobile Director Melvin Giles. “People love to share their stories—by video, or by writing it down, or using a computer. It is collecting history and it is a way to share about ourselves and our community. We learn from each other when we share.”
Saint Paul Almanac’s Storymobile 2.0 was designed by artist Roger Cummings. On wheels and solar powered, it is a hand-built engagement space decked out with iPads, microphones and an amp, as well as pens and paper and Polaroid cameras. Writers, filmmakers, and spoken word artists help people share their stories, their songs, what is important in their lives. People who record their stories can email their stories to themselves and they may share them more broadly through a special archive of the stories through the Minnesota Reflections digital archiving portal. People can take a Polaroid photo of themselves and take that home with them too. Storymobile 2.0 has a new design that makes it lighter than the original and easier to move. It is driven by an ELF, a solar-powered electric bike. Construction of the new Storymobile was made possible by supporters of the Saint Paul Almanac and an Arts Access grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.
Storymobile visits local community events, festivals, corporate gatherings, and conventions. It is also its own place-making gathering space. To hire Storymobile for an event, contact Darius Gray, Storymobile manager, at email@example.com. View the calendar at storymobile.org to see where the Storymobile will be next!
Chief Cultural Producer of JXTA and Storymobile Lead Designer
Roger Cummings is the Chief Cultural Producer of JXTA a visual art and cultural Social Enterprise that trains and mentors youth and community members from Minneapolis Saint Paul.
Cummings activates relationships between space and place through art, design, independent livelihood, and collective social enterprise.
Cummings’ work acknowledges, while at the same time, progresses the direction of urban visual expression. He aims to create works of art in public and private spaces that have personal and impersonal uses, in the hopes of enlivening meaningful, human interactions.
Urban architecture, design, and planning inform my work. In close examination of these influences, my work has taken the form of largescale sculptures, pocket parks, and functional enhancements to public space. The functionality of my work aims to incite in urban citizens’ a lens through which they are able to see themselves included, represented, and civically engaged in establishing the visual identities of their neighborhood. In placing my work at the center of a critical dialogue, where art becomes a vehicle through which cooperative models of community engagement encourage social interactions in public space, my choice of materials have evolved. I have explored new ways of mixing an accessible medium like aerosol paint with steel, stone, recyclable found objects, and photo voltaic. I also have experimented with using tiles and fabric to extrude and create three-dimensional multi-media biomorphic structures that reference Hip Hop, urban design, and sustainability.
Melvin Giles is a veteran peace, diversity, and dismantling racism educator and urban gardener/farmer. He has extensive experience working with youth, academia, government agencies, nonproﬁt agencies and neighborhood groups. He’s received numerous awards for his social justice work including: 2003 Martin Luther King “Dream Keeper” Award, 2008 “Outstanding World Citizen” Award, and the 2011 Morrill Hall/Rachel Tilsen Social Justice Fund Award.
Professional writer and writing mentor
Designer, Fabricator, Web Manager