Building community and possibility by sharing your stories.

Project Description

Since 2013, I’ve engaged audiences across the country in a public humanities community building project called Voices. Voices weaves people’s true stories together, offering a community a glimpse of their own overlapping lives in this moment. I start by working with participants who are interested in sharing a piece of their own story. I find connections in these different stories, and weave them into a performance that helps the community to see, share, and strengthen itself.

Each new project is primarily for the community that collaborates in writing it. An excerpt from a past performance is available here. A recording of “Voices of Memory” is available here.

Selected Current Projects

“Voices of the Land” in collaboration with the Illinois Regenerative Agriculture Initiative. 

“Odyssey Voices” in collaboration with the Odyssey Project at the Humanities Research Institute in Illinois.

 “Voices of Memory” in collaboration with the Memory Studies initiative at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

“Voices of the Gargoyle” in collaboration with the University Laboratory School in Illinois.

Selected Past Projects

“Voices of ISEEN” in collaboration with the Independent Schools Experiential Education Network. 

“Voices: Being Here” in collaboration with an international community and students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

“Voices From the Valley” in collaboration with Verde Valley School in Arizona.

The “Voices in the Hall” series in collaboration with Heritage Hall School in Oklahoma.


Azlan Smith