Cultural Documentation Field School: Instructors

Langston Collin Wilkins

Director, Center for Washington Cultural Traditions

Langston Collin Wilkins, PhD is a folklorist, ethnomusicologist and writer based in Seattle, Washington. He currently serves as Washington State’s state folklorist and is Director of the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions, a program of Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission. In this role, he oversees the center’s Cultural Traditions Survey and Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program as well documentation and archiving activities. Langston and the Center serve as resources for folk and traditional arts research, documentation, and programming across Washington state.

Elaine Vradenburgh

Curator, Window Seat Media

Elaine is an oral historian, multimedia storyteller and educator. She has carried out her work through a variety of roles — as a fundraising, marketing, and communications professional for nonprofit organizations; an educator; and a freelance writer, photographer, and videographer. She is currently the Curator of Window Seat Media and an adjunct faculty at the Evergreen State College.

Laura Lo Forti

Co-Founder/Story Midwife, Vanport Mosaic

Laura Lo Forti is a multimedia journalist, community engagement practitioner, and a “story midwife” supporting communities in defining how their stories should be told and shared.

Laura is the co-founder and co-director of Vanport Mosaic, a memory activism platform that amplifies, honors, presents and preserves the silenced histories that surround us in order to understand our present, and create a future where we all belong. 

Her approach to community engagement and ethical storytelling have been featured, among many other events, at Tribeca Film Festival, Collaborating for A Cause, Media that Matters, Restorative Narratives conferences.

Michael Maine

Multidisciplinary artist and activist

Michael B. Maine is a multidisciplinary artist and activist. He thinks critically about representation throughout all parts of the media creation process and is actively working with, and building, systems to address issues of oppression in media.

Learn more about his work here: 

Rob Smith

Producer/Owner,Welcome to Olympia and Keepsake Audio

Rob Smith is an audio producer, personal historian, and a contributor to public radio.

A recognition that family stories are often lost to time led Rob to create Keepsake Audio. Keepsake is an audiobiography service that creates broadcast-quality family heirlooms from personal stories.

Rob also makes the podcast Welcome To Olympia — a narrative nonfiction storytelling show about the people and history of south Puget Sound.

Rob lives in Olympia, WA with his wife and three daughters.