CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Are you listening?
That’s a question the Charlotte Art League is asking.
It is working to answer that question, using a payphone.
“I’ve always loved both art and storytelling, and I was kind of thinking of what different ways we could find to help encourage story sharing and storytelling and community building in this time," Sara Kate Baudhuin says.
Baudhuin is the Community Collaboration & Advocacy Coordinator for the art league and spent months working on a unique way to connect people and stories that live here in Charlotte.
“Stories, not only are they a really therapeutic tool to kind of just help feel connected to humanity more, it’s also a really powerful tool in helping us imagine the future and imagine what the world we are in…what we want it to look like," she says.
This month the art league released the Charlotte Listens Storytelling Payphone.
People just walk up, scan the QR code, and they have the option to listen to five different stories from anonymous people or record their own story.
For the next two weeks the payphone will sit outside the art league before it’s moved to a brand-new location in Charlotte.
Baudhuin is hoping that every day someone calls, the stories will be completely different.
"As the stories come in, then I'm able to go into the back end of the software and reprogram it," she says. "So as new stories come in, those five stories will switch out and become updated."
As more stories roll in, Baudhuin is hopeful this payphone will be the thing Charlotte needs right now.
“It’s live, and it’s out there, and it can start sharing those stories and being a bridge to story sharing," she says. "That’s extremely exciting.”
Every two weeks the payphone will move to a different location and stories will focus on different themes until the end of the year.