What began as an exploration into my own brief personal history with Bryan, Ohio, The Bryan Project has blossomed into a civic-driven documentary piece inviting the entire city to engage in conversation and art around questions surrounding bridging generational gaps and the role of tradition within the community. The submissions will culminate into a large-scale video piece available to the public. Exactly what this will look like is up to you, the community of Bryan.
My name is Katie Butler and I am a Bryanite. Kind of.
I was born in Williams County in July of 1988. My family had a house on County Road 13. I took my first steps there, said my first words and ate mud in the back yard. My older brother broke his hand in our driveway. My mother worked in Montpelier and my father worked in the center of town.
And then we moved to Texas in 1991 and I never came back.
Almost thirty years later, I am a theatre maker finishing my Masters Degree in Philadelphia, and fascinated with the idea that you can be connected to a place that you don't remember. I decided to explore. I wanted to find the house we lived in, the business my dad worked for, anything that would connect me to the town my family once called home.
I didn't find what I was looking for. The house had long been torn down--the address doesn't even exist. The business my dad worked for was bought out years ago. No friends to remember us, no landmarks that would indicate we were ever really there. I was no longer connected to Bryan.
What I did find was the Bryan High School Theatre department willing to indulge me in giving a workshop and interviewing the troupe; admittedly a side-trek to my original path. I found a warm welcome, a passionate energy, and new ties to this place were instantly forged. I realized this exploration isn't about unearthing old connections, but creating new ones. I have no shared past with the town, but now we share a future.
While exploring Bryan and meeting the citizens, I quickly found that discovering what this town has to offer was an impossible task in my short stay there. It was clear this project had to expand. But I need help.
After talking with a few residents about what they felt Bryan needs to thrive, we decided to use this project as a vehicle for conversation surrounding the themes of tradition, evolving community values and bridging the generational gap. I have heard over and over how supportive Bryan is of the Arts and how the community sets itself apart. I want to create a platform for Bryan to tell its stories.
This is where the citizens of the Fountain City come in. These stories are for you, by you, and are important because of you. This is a new opportunity to connect with your community and introduce Bryan, Ohio to the world.
READY TO TELL YOUR STORY?
The Bryan Project is currently accepting video submissions from Bryanites responding to prompts around the themes of tradition, evolving community values and bridging the generational gap.
Some prompts to consider:
- Show us the place in Bryan that carries your history. How far back does that history go? Do you have ancestry in Bryan?
- Who or what shaped your value system? Is there a place in Bryan that represents your values? Take us to a place that represents your values and tell us about it.
- When you think of the future of Bryan, what images, words, places come to mind?
- Show us what represents change in Bryan.
- Show us what represents tradition in Bryan.
- What is the most exciting/impactful/life altering thing that has happened to you in Bryan? Who was there? Where? How? When?
How to submit your video:
-You can submit your video using this Google Form.
**SUBMITTING A VIDEO PERMITS THE USE OF YOUR LIKENESS IN PRINT, RADIO AND VIDEO PERTAINING TO THE BRYAN PROJECT.**