The Social Voice Project is dedicated to understanding the voices and stories of our lives–those first-hand, authentic accounts of lived experiences we call oral histories. Sharing these experiences reveals our social, economic, and political lives, and they help forge important understandings of public histories.
In 2010 Kevin Farkas fouded The Social Voice Project as an audio-focused educational media organization. Its mission, inspired by the late historian Studs Terkel, sought to capture, preserve, and share a variety of personal life stories and experiences of veterans community, first-responders, social activists, or families documenting their genealogy.
TSVP’s Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Initiative soon became its most prodigious project–its aim to help local veterans record their stories. “As a way of saying thanks to our veterans, I wanted to use my skills as an audiographer to help all who served preserve their personal histories,” said Kevin Farkas, himself a navy veteran.
“Most veterans are not war heroes, but they, too, once put their lives on the line to defend our nation. Their stories of service matter, but most people never get a chance to record their stories professionally. So, I wanted to use my skills to help create high quality historical legacies for veterans, their families, and the general public.”
In 2012, TSVP’s audio work with veterans greatly expanded by adding videography, still photography, and narrative historiography to the ways in which veterans’ stories can be preserved and told. This new project, now called the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative, partnered with Todd DePastino of the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit, Veterans Breakfast Club.