The Arizona LGBT Storytelling Project

Read article in UA News from 10/12/09:
UA Hosting, Screening LGBT Storytelling Project 

Wingspan Community Forum
MJ & Michael

About the Project

The Arizona LGBT Storytelling Project: Community Histories is the first collection of its kind of oral histories and digital documentation of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities in the state of Arizona. The project is directed and coordinated by Jamie A. Lee in collaboration with many volunteers throughout southern Arizona.

The purpose of the Arizona LGBT Storytelling Project: Community Histories is to record and commemorate the voices, images, and memories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people living in the state of Arizona. Our goal is to develop and build on the historical record of the diverse LGBT individuals and communities here in Arizona, capture memories of historical moments and movements; reveal our struggles, triumphs, healing, and beliefs; as well as share knowledge with future generations.

This project is considered a production of Pan Left Productions, a filmmaking collective based in Tucson, Arizona. As a part of its mission, Pan Left puts the tools of video production into the hands of people who are not equally represented in the mainstream media. Funding for this project has come from the Alliance Fund of Southern Arizona and Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC).

Major partners and ongoing supporters include the University of Arizona Institute for LGBT Studies and its Oral History Cluster, OSCR, Wingspan, Wingspan's Senior Pride, Odyssey Storytelling, Eithne Luibhéid, Adela C. Licona, Gregory Anderson, Penelope Starr, and all those who have volunteered to tell our stories and those who are learning to use the digital video camera equipment to gather our stories.

If you would like to learn how to be included in this historical archive, to volunteer, and connect us to Arizona LGBT communities that we have overlooked, please email Jamie A. Lee.

Filmmaker Bio

Jamie A. Lee is an award-winning independent filmmaker who owns Visionaries Filmworks, a production company dedicated to social justice media. Jamie's documentary films have screened on PBS stations nationwide as well as Free Speech TV. She has presented at the 2008 Women's World Congress in Madrid, Spain, the 2008 National Communications Association (NCA) Annual Convention, and was keynote speaker at the 2009 New Directions in Critical Theory Conference about the power of storytelling using media to make lasting change.

Jamie is a member and former co-executive director of Pan Left Productions, Tucson’s filmmaking collective. She teaches documentary film at City High School in and facilitates Grrrls Literary Activism Workshops through Kore Press. She is also directing the Arizona LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Storytelling Project: Community Histories, a Pan Left production, to lay the groundwork of an Arizona LGBT Archives to be housed and accessible through the University of Arizona's Institute for LGBT Studies. She is the recipient of the 2009 Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist Project Grant to assist her in post-production on her latest documentary film project, agua miel: Secrets of the Agave.


In Memoriam

We thank the participants for sharing their wisdom and life experiences with us.

Rich Gastelum 2009