By Ann McCreary
Visitors to TwispWorks can learn more about its history and current uses via digital technology through a new project called The Listening Post Network.
TwispWorks is one of eight sites in North Central Washington participating in a new program offering audio tours that are accessed with cell phones and smart phones.
The project is sponsored by the Initiative for Rural Innovation & Stewardship (IRIS), which promotes gathering and sharing stories of the region.
“Sharing stories through the Listening Post Network helps us to honor the history of the Twisp ranger station, and tell the stories of what is happening now as we transform this site into a center for creativity, design and entrepreneurship,” said Amy Stork, executive director of TwispWorks.
“The audio tour of the TwispWorks campus can help illustrate and strengthen the connections between the old economy of the Methow Valley – rooted in the mining and timber industries – and our present efforts to make education, technology and the arts into our major economic drivers,” Stork said.
At each Listening Post site, visitors learn more about the history of the site and the organization that manages it, through a variety of digital media accessed through cell phones, smart phones and the IRIS Gathering Our Voice website, www.gatheringourvoice.org/listening-post.
IRIS has worked with managers at each site to create signage that lists the phone number and website information for that site. All stories can also be accessed from anywhere via hard-line phones and desktop computers.
“The Listening Post is like a story-telling utility,” said Nancy Warner, IRIS coordinator. “Our goal is to brand North Central Washington as a region that gathers, shares and cares for our stories … that enhance a sense of belonging, inspire action, and build community.”
Other sites included in The Listening Post Network are Paddlers Point in Wenatchee; the Entiat Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in Chelan County; the Historic Douglas Church in Douglas County; the Mansfield Museum; Columbia Breaks Fire Interpretive Center; Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center; and the City of Rock Island.