On February 3, 2012, The Great-Grandfather Club had its very first Story Booth set up in the parking lot of Studio Quercus during the Oakland Art Murmur. At the time, we joked that we were crashing the event, but really, we were welcomed with open arms, and to date, it is probably the most elaborate set up the GGClub has had so far. And it was also our first major team effort.
For starters, Alexi and I put in hours of work around organizing the event, getting the newlsetter out in time to let our friends know where to find us, along with an endless list of odds and ends that I can’t even remember anymore. And of course, we had to have a website, graphics, fliers and other materials, which were designed by my cousin, Neil Freese, and web designer Elvis Murks. On the night of the Art Murmur, my parents and my Tio Fernando brought a utility trailer from Fairfield for us to create a mini-studio complete with used furniture and a couple of plants. Alexi’s husband Wynn provided incredible support in a number of ways like editing all of our print materials and running around recruiting Art Murmur attendees to tell us their story. Emily White and Laura Rogers were also there drumming up support for the booth and interacting with passersby. I should also point out that both Laura and Emily are marketing gurus who gave us tips throughout the night on how to sell our concept and draw a crowd. Friends James and Katie brought a ton of enthusiasm and chatted up story tellers who were on deck to step into the ‘studio.’ And our crew, Kyung Lee, Sarolta Cump and Youngbin Kwon showed up early and stayed until the very end to make sure that every participant had a chance to tell their story.
At the time a lot of details were still getting worked out around the concept of the GG Club, the end goal, and how the public would respond to the project. But Alexi and I knew that we wanted to get people as excited about telling their ancestor stories as we were about telling our own. And our friends and family were on board from the start to help us make that happen. So, as we gear up for our grand finale, Story Vault, this June, we are fueled by the continued support of our friends and family, in addition to all of the individuals who have contributed stories to our project. You’ll be able to catch a lot of them at our event on June 16th. Here are some of the highlights from our very first story booth at the Oakland Art Murmur in February. – Liz