Mile High Stories: Daniel Weinshenker, Hugh Graham, Tim Roessler

Mile High Stories
Daniel Weinshenker, Hugh Graham, Tim Roessler
Digital Storytelling
In Residence: February 14 – March 25, 2005

Creative Residents Hugh Graham, Tim Roessler and Daniel Weinshenker (Mile High Stories), collaborated with middle school students from PS 1 to create individual DVD films. While in residence, they each created their own films, Hugh “Julesburg”, Tim “Union Dues and Keith” and Daniel “Chuck’s and Built to Scale”. They also built an audio recording booth and invited the public to record their own audio narratives of what “Home” means. The resulting audio was wildly diverse and will be compiled into a future project. Their films along with the student films can be viewed

Artist Statement
People used to share stories on porches, across back fences, at the barbershop or over coffee. We still tell our stories, but because of any number of reasons – television, jobs, long commutes – we tell them less often, and take advantage of fewer opportunities to share them. Now digital media provides both the chance to tell stories easily, flexibly and with all the power of music and movement, together with the opportunity to share these stories through a medium that many people can access at any time – the Internet. Mile High Stories will help citizens of Denver construct a narrative quilt available to the community and the world beyond. A piece of public art. A living history. A place to make new connections and nurture them. The Mile High Stories team of artists (Daniel Weinshenker, Hugh Graham, and Tim Roessler) will use the residency at PlatteForum to work with a diverse group of Denver-area residents to create a series of personal narratives and mini-documentaries reflecting on life in the Mile High City. The artists will produce their own digital narratives and reflections on life in Denver, and will conduct a workshop with students from Denver’s PS1 School, encouraging them to create their own digital stories as well. The stories created through the workshop will be presented as a video loop in gallery installation. The gallery space will show numerous ‘low-tech’ stories, consisting of still pictures and accompanying text created by a range of students and community members. The gallery experience will also include a ‘Story Booth,’ allowing gallery visitors to record their own audio stories; these will then be edited, combined with photos, and presented on the Mile High Stories website.

Artist Bios
Daniel Weinshenker has been telling stories and teaching others to tell stories for more than ten years professionally. He taught creative writing for three years while working on his MA at CU Boulder and then spent the next few years in marketing and advertising, helping companies deliver their messages. For the past few years he’s been working with the Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley. He teaches workshops all over the country and recently opened up the first branch of the center here in Denver. Through this center he educates artists, teachers, and Denver citizens on how to become literate in digital storytelling techniques and software, and document the stories of the people who live here. He has also worked with youth through ArtStreet for the past two years.Hugh Graham is a facilitator, writer, and interactive designer working with clients such as Universal Studios, US West/Qwest, Janus, Aspen Ski Company, the Limited Express, Maytag, Virgin, the Colorado Rockies, among others. He develops and implements innovative and effective strategies, with a focus on the use of scenarios, stories, and prototypes in the creative process. In addition to his work in interactive content development, he has extensive experience in film, video, music and theater, including projects for MGM/Universal, Paramount, Viacom, the Guthrie Theater, and the Walker Art Center. An award winning performance and video artist, including awards from the Denver Mayor’s Office of Art Culture and Film and the Colorado Council for the Arts, Hugh focuses on the use of story to engage, entertain, and educate. Hugh is currently a member of the board of directors of the American Institute of Graphic Arts Colorado Chapter, and is a frequent public speaker on subjects including interdisciplinary design and digital storytelling.

With 15 years in the communications industry, Tim Roessler has extensive experience in content, branding and creative strategy as it applies to traditional and new media. As vice president and creative director for iXL, a global consulting and services company, he led the creative teams developing powerful strategies for such international clients as Virgin Cars, Virgin Energy, Budget Rent A Car, and Express (a division of the Limited, Inc.) As an Internet executive, he became known as an expert in the uses of storytelling for media design, and in the creation of multi-channel narratives. In 1994, Tim co-founded and was the creative director of ccg online. There, he created and wrote award-winning websites for the Aspen Skiing Company, Nikko Hotels, Alamo Rent A Car, Universal Studios Florida and the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club.– Daniel Weinshenker – Hugh Graham