We’re excited to launch a new weekly Tumblr series, which will feature IDEAS CITY participants and projects. IDEAS CITY, a biennial Festival in New York City from May 1 – May 4, explores the future of cities around the globe with the belief that arts and culture are essential to the vitality of urban centers, making them better places to live, work, and play. This year’s theme is Untapped Capital, with participants focused on resources that are under-recognized or underutilized in our cities. Learn more at www.ideas-city.org.


NAMES: Rachel Falcone, Laura Gottesdiener, Michael Premo

PROJECT TITLE: ”Sandy Storyline”

“Sandy Storyline” is a participatory documentary that collects and shares stories about the impact of Hurricane Sandy on our neighborhoods, our communities, and our lives. 

By engaging people in sharing their own experiences and visions, “Sandy Storyline” is building a community-generated narrative of the storm and its aftermath that seeks to build a more just and sustainable future. “Sandy Storyline” features audio, video, photography, and text stories, contributed by residents and citizen journalists, which are shared through an immersive web documentary and interactive exhibitions.

When and where can we see your project?

Our project will have a booth at the StreetFest component of IDEAS CITY. This will happen on Saturday May 4, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For booth locations, check the IDEAS CITY website at ideas-city.org. If you cannot wait until then, you can also check out our project online at sandystoryline.com and in person at our first exhibition at the Tribeca Film Festival from April 19 to 21. We are one of five interactive transmedia projects to be selected for Tribeca’s newest category called “Storyscapes.”

How does your project address the theme of Untapped Capital?

Despite the onset of social media and citizen reporting, the reality is that professional journalists still largely determine the news and stories of our daily lives. But everyone has a story to tell, and all these voices are the untapped capital of our world. Our project seeks to craft a participatory storyline that invites everyone to participate in a civic dialogue with the goal of making policy, social, and economic decisions more democratic.

What is your favorite place in the city?

Rachel: Coney Island. Enough craziness and beauty to fill my summertime. It never gets old.

Laura: Sunset Park. It’s the highest point in Brooklyn and has incredible views of Lower Manhattan’s skyline, while being completely separated from that craziness!

Michael: Brooklyn.

What is the change you would most like to see in New York City?

We’d like to see the city’s politics and economics shift towards a model built on community decision-making—both for small issues and large ones. From the reconstruction of storm-damaged neighborhoods to the current opposition to NYPD policing tactics, communities often find that they have little say in how their lives are shaped. We’d like to see the city reorganized so that decisions are made locally and by those whom the policies affect most.

How can people still help with Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts?

Many families and communities affected by Hurricane Sandy are still in need. People are still displaced and living in hotels; families are still waiting on insurance payments; children are still catching up from months without school. Go to occupysandy.com to learn how you can get involved in rebuilding our neighborhoods.