"Dial a Story" phone booths popping up all over Spokane

Dial a Story (7-14-17)

SPOKANE, Wash.-- In today's world of smart phones, pay phone booths are becoming a thing of the past. But in one Spokane neighborhood, they're making a comeback.

People can dial a number on a rotary phone and listen to one of nine real life stories from residents living in the West Central neighborhood. 

It's an art project called "Dial a Story".

This art project was made possible through collaboration with Sparks Central, Spokane Arts and Laboratory Spokane and the civic theatre with the idea of sharing stories from your neighborhood. 

The group of non-profits put out a call to businesses, neighbors and churches in the area to share real experiences about their neighborhood. 

"We love the idea of people in a particular neighborhood in Spokane getting to tell the stories of their lives of their neighborhood in their own words," Melissa Huggins, with Spokane Arts said.

You can listen to these stories at three locations: The Indaba coffee shop on Broadway, Batch Bakeshop, and the West Central Community Center.

Actors from the civic center were recruited to voice each story. 

"It's kind of a mix,” Huggins said. “Some are funny. Some are sad. Some are little anecdotes and some take place over a long period of time." 

By mid-June, "Dial a Story" phone booths started popping up just as fast as the old phone booths were being taken down.

Alan Chatham with Laboratory said the project uses the original mechanisms from the rotary phone. And while phone booths and rotary phones are a thing of the past, these booths are equipped with technology of today. 

"We've actually got everything hooked up through a solar panel up on top,” Chatham said. “It's charging the battery and electronics inside the areas we've installed onto the booths. There's a circuit board in there that's reading the prerecorded stories off a little SD card."

Story submissions are still being accepted. For more information on story guidelines and where to submit your neighborhood tale, visit their website. 

© 2017 KREM-TV


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