The Museum of Ventura County, CAPS Media, Ojai Valley Museum, and Ventura County Library are collaborating to create a historical archive of the most devastating natural tragedy in county history. To this end, professional recording sessions will be held in Ojai, Santa Paula, and Ventura. The Museum of Ventura County, CAPS Media, Ojai Valley Museum, and Ventura County Library invite the public, firefighters, law enforcement personnel and other first responders to attend a session to share their stories and recollections of December 4th and the following weeks.
The recorded interviews will be archived, with the eventual goal to have the entire archive be accessible to the public. Some interviews may also be used in the CAPS Media documentary Thomas Fire Stories Project, a comprehensive documentary that will capture the remarkable stories of heroism, sacrifice, tragedy and healing surrounding the Thomas Fire.
“During the Thomas Fire, people who were evacuated from their homes or who lost homes flocked to our public libraries to access library computers and WiFi, get information, pick up face masks and meet with their families, friends and neighbors,” said Ventura County Library Director Nancy Schram. “Now, as a partner in the Thomas Fire: Our Story project, the Ventura County Library again serves as a community hub, fulfilling a key role in collecting and preserving first-hand accounts from community members and first responders.”
“The overwhelming community wide response to the Thomas Fire devastation provides CAPS Media with an extraordinary opportunity to document the once-in-a-lifetime stories of tragedy, courage and recovery,” said Patrick Davidson, CAPS Media Executive Director.
The Museum of Ventura County, CAPS Media, Ojai Valley Museum, and Ventura County Library invite the public’s participation and encourage those with a story to tell, or a tribute or thank you to share, to submit their stories, digital videos and images to help document our common experience. Everyone affected by the Thomas Fire is invited to share their story.
“At the Museum, we hope to represent the bridge between our past and our future. Documenting and archiving the impact of the Thomas Fire now will ensure that future generations can feel the impact of this historic event. It will take the full involvement of the community, in order to ensure a full and accurate account of California’s largest fire,” said Elena Brokaw, Barbara Barnard Smith Executive Director at the Museum of Ventura County.
Those unable to attend one of the recording sessions but have videos to submit can visit capsmedia.org and follow the steps outlined to upload video content. To submit a personal story, a tribute or thank you and/or to share digital images, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. When submitting your story please provide your name and email.
The following sites have recording sessions available at the following times and days:
Sunday, 3/11/18 Ojai Valley Museum 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, 3/25/18 Ojai Library 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, 3/31/18 CAPS Media 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m.
Monday, 4/2/18 E. P. Foster Library 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, 4/14/18 Avenue Library 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, 4/22/18 Agriculture Museum 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, 5/20/18 Museum of Ventura County 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
About the Museum of Ventura County
The Museum of Ventura County celebrates, preserves and interprets the art, history and culture of Ventura County, the California Channel Islands and the surrounding region through its collections, exhibitions, events, educational programs, publications and its research library, and serves as a gathering place for the community. Located at 100 East Main Street, Ventura, CA 93001, the Museum of Ventura County is open Tuesday – Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.venturamuseum.org or call 805-653-0323.
About CAPS Media
CAPS Media, Ventura’s community access center’s mission is to create an engaged and informed community through participation in electronic media. CAPS provides training, equipment, studio and editing facilities to the community so that everyone can share their ideas, passion and stories. Located at 65 Day Road, Ventura, CA 93003. For more information, visit www.capsmedia.org or call 805-658-0500.
About Ventura County Library
Ventura County Library is a free public library system of 12 community libraries in Ventura County, California, organized in 1916. At the time of its centennial in 2016, the system provided access to 412,715 physical volumes and more than 500,000 virtual items to its nearly 300,000 card holders. The Ventura County Library serves and issues library cards to all residents of the county, and to others living elsewhere in California upon request. For more information, visit www.vencolibrary.org.
About Ojai Valley Museum
The Ojai Valley Museum shares the history, art and culture of the Ojai Valley through exhibitions, programs and events. Visit the museum at 130 W. Ojai Ave, Ojai, Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or Sundays 12-4 p.m. Contact the Ojai Valley Museum online at www.OjaiValleyMuseum.org or 80- 640-1390.