By SARA JANE RUGGLES/Special To The Press
| November 29, 2020 1:00 AM

It is safe to say that in one way or another, most of our plans have changed this year. And yet, humanity has still found a way to connect while we all do our part to quarantine and protect each other from COVID-19. Britt Thurman, Jocelyn Babcock, and the energized team at the Museum of North Idaho are no exception. This team was recently awarded a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council to create a community-based podcast focusing on broadcasting the history of our area. I am excited to be the host of this bi-weekly podcast and I am even more excited to announce that we are looking for local volunteer “Content Creators” to help us brainstorm and produce a quality program beginning in January 2021.

What is a Content Creator, you ask? These are volunteers who will serve on a museum committee which is dedicated to the production of the podcast. We are seeking participants of all ages, including high school and college students, who can contribute in a range of capacities including: brainstorming and writing new content, coordinating interviews, producing episodes, and marketing the program.

This podcast will bring the past to life in the present using a digital medium, which is why this committee should include members from a variety of age groups. From the younger generations who are immersed in digital understanding, to the adults who have working and scholarship experience in both analog and digital worlds, and the mature generations who can tell the stories we are hoping to animate. This is also a wonderful opportunity for local students who are looking for community-based service experience to strengthen their resumés. Committee positions are part-time with approximately two meetings per month Anyone who would like to submit their resumé for consideration is asked to contact Jocelyn Babcock at the Museum of North Idaho.

While we will be interviewing local residents about their memories of our region, this will not be your average historical program. In order to broadcast history and humanity-based programming to a diverse audience, we will produce seven unique show styles, each focusing on a different element of community. Here are some of the highlights:

Dramatic Readings: These episodes will feature a local high school/college student who will perform a dramatic reading of an oral history from the museum’s archive. The magic will lie in hearing young voices personifying the memories of those who made them generations ago.

Seniors and Seniors: These episodes will feature a joint interview of a senior citizen and a senior in high school. The two will discuss their definitions on subjects that unite us as people, but may look different to the two generations. We will ask questions such as: “What does hard work look like to you?” or “What does ‘community’ mean to you?” These episodes will serve to unite us as productive members of the same community, no matter what the age difference.

Living History: With these episodes we will actually contribute to the museum archives. They will feature an interview with a local business owner to discuss why and how they started their business and how it contributes to our society. With this work will be preserving the story of our community in the 2020’s for future generations to learn from.

Let’s take this opportunity to listen and learn from each other and share some laughs along the way. Let’s enjoy the journey together and as always, feel free to reach out to me through my website: www.sarajaneruggles.com.