Beaver County Stories
On episode 16 of the Beaver County History Podcast, we talk with Beaver County filmmaker Chris Padgett about the importance of storytelling to help us better understand our history, communities, and ourselves.
Producers Note: Increasingly, forward thinking local historians are integrating oral histories and community storytelling into their museums, sharing these amazing accounts of lived experiences both online and in their museums through digital media. This conversation underscores the value of capturing, preserving, and sharing these accounts of lived experiences.
A big thanks to Merrick Art Gallery for hosting our recording session.
This episode was recorded April 13, 2019 at the Merrick Art Gallery in New Brighton, Pennsylvania. Host: Kevin Farkas. Guest Chris Padgett. Audiography: Kevin Farkas. Music (available on SoundCloud.com): Alexander Nakarada (“Jack the Lumberer”), Reveries (“ Nocturne 5”), David Hyde (“30th July”), Josiah Savary (“Flight Delays”). Other sounds (available on Youtube.com): Museums Galleries Scotland (“CH for Everyone: The importance of storytelling”), Tendency (“The Importance of Storytelling in an Organization's Marketing”), Jack's Movie Reviews (“The Twilight Zone - A Lesson in Storytelling”), Juan Gomez (“Why are stories important”), TEDx Talks (“Narrative Humility: Sayantani DasGupta at TEDxSLC”), Weissman School of Arts and Sciences (“Why oral history is important history”), Atur Stellardrone (“Eternity”), TSVP (“What is History Sound Montage”). ©Beaver County History Podcast/The Social Voice Project, Inc. All rights reserved.
"I like coffee with extra cream, spicy thai food, playing guitar, illustrating, making videos of family, riding bikes, gardening, and being silly. I love my daughter, Annette, for who she is, who she's becoming, and because she's just plain awesome."
Chris Padgett refers to himself as a community filmmaker, a term that reflects his deep interest in the fascinating social worlds in which we live. He is a purpose-driven creative documentarian: "strengthening communities with story through listening, connection, and hope."
After studying film and video at Columbia College in Chicago, Chris has worked as a photographer of 17 years, newspaper photojournalist, portrait and wedding photographer, and digital storyteller. His work featuring community stories of Beaver County (Beaver County Anthology) also characterizes him as a public historian.
Originally from Dixon, Illinois, Chris now resides in Beaver, Pennsylvania.
Kevin also founded the nonprofit Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative—a leading regional multimedia project working closely with the Veterans Breakfast Club, StoryCorps, and the Senator John Heinz History Center/Smithsonian Institution to capture, preserve, and share the stories of veterans with a Western Pennsylvania connection.
His multimedia work has appeared in local, regional, and national outlets, including USA Today, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, KDKA radio, WTAE/ABC television, Military Press, The Podcast Engineering Show, and websites of the Veterans Affairs Administration and the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation.
Kevin’s work has been referenced in several documentaries, museum exhibits, and oral history coursework and texts, including The Journal of Veteran Studies and Doing Oral History. Donald Ritchie, Historian Emeritus of the United States Senate, has recognized Kevin’s creative audio short stories and radio syndication series as a significant example of a new genre of public-minded oral history. Doug Boyd, Director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries, rates Kevin’s Veteran Voices: The Oral History Podcast as one of his favorite oral history-based podcast productions.
For his oral history work in the Pittsburgh area, Kevin has received special recognition from the City of Pittsburgh, Community College of Allegheny County, and WQED/PBS(Dominion VITA Award). His photography also won the national “Cover of the Year” award by Hibu Publishing.
At seventeen, Kevin joined the US Navy and served aboard the USS Saratoga. After his enlistment, he hiked the Appalachian Trail and traveled throughout the country by bicycle. After attending New Mexico Highlands University and receiving degrees in English, he taught in several universities throughout the United States, including the Navajo Nation. Prior to founding The Social Voice Project, Kevin was corporate director of training in the electronics manufacturing industry. He is a native of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, where he now lives.
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