The Conversation Project

Maria Rodriguez

What Is the Conversation Project?

The Conversation Project brings people together to talk about their beliefs and experiences around timely and important issues and ideas.

It works like this: An organization applies to host a virtual community conversation from our catalog and receives resources from Oregon Humanities to support each stage of the event. An Oregon Humanities facilitator leads a ninety-minute virtual conversation that invites participants to engage with a particular topic and talk about it together. By creating intentional spaces for conversation, people and groups explore why they think what they do, share stories with one another that build trust, and make stronger connections and commitments to the issues that affect their communities.

We are partnering with organizations that are interested in hosting virtual community conversations between April 1 and August 31, 2021. Learn more about how to host a virtual Conversation Project event below and complete the host application when you’ve decided what conversation (or conversations) you want to bring to your community. 

Questions? Contact Rachel Bernstein at r.bernstein@oregonhumanities.org

 

How to Host a Conversation Project

We are excited that you are interested in hosting a virtual community conversation. Below you’ll find information about what it looks like to partner with us to host a Conversation Project. 

  • Apply

    • Take a look at our catalog. You can apply to host up to three events. On the application, indicate how much your organization can pay to host per event (between nothing and $600). Most organizations pay $50. The amount you can pay will not affect whether your application is approved. We’ll be back in touch with you within two weeks. 

      Apply Now

  • Connect with the Conversation Project leader 

    • Once you receive an approval email from us, contact the Conversation Project leader to schedule a date and time for the community conversation, then get back in touch with us to let us know the details. 

  • Set-up and Outreach for Your Event 

    • Your organization is responsible for set-up, outreach, and production of these virtual conversations on Zoom Meeting or a similar platform that allows people to see and talk with each other in large and small groups. You’ll receive resources and materials from us to support you in promoting for your event. 

  • Host the Conversation

    • Someone from your organization is required to attend the conversation to welcome participants, talk about Oregon Humanities and the Conversation Project, support the Conversation Project leader with technical needs like breakout rooms and screen sharing, and make a note of which registered participants showed up. 

  • Follow Up with Oregon Humanities

    • After the event, invite participants to complete the Oregon Humanities evaluation survey. Then share attendee names and emails with Oregon Humanities, complete a host evaluation, and pay your invoice.  

 

Conversation Project Catalog

Scroll through to see the conversations on offer or click here to open the catalog in a new window.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many people can participate in these community conversations?

    • These virtual community conversations are best for groups of between seven and twenty-five. If you are opening up the conversation to the general public (as opposed to convening a group of people who you know will be available to participate on a particular date), you should set registration limits of at least twice the number of people you want to participate, because around half of people who RSVP for virtual events do not attend.

  • Can I record this conversation? 

    • No. Our Conversation Project leaders create a space for participants to share their personal stories and experiences, and we want participants to be able to fully show up without feeling they should censor themselves. Recording can change interpersonal and group dynamics.

  • What if my organization doesn’t have a virtual platform to host a Conversation Project event? 

    • You can use ours! On the application, you can request temporary use of our Zoom account. 

  • What kinds of organizations can apply? 

    • All! Oregon Humanities partners with community organizations, small and large nonprofits, universities, community colleges, government agencies, corporations, and others around the state to host Conversation Project events. 

  • Who can participate in these conversations? 

    • You can host a Conversation Project program for the general public or for a particular group: people at your workplace, place of worship, or a community you serve.  

  • Can I charge a fee? 

    • No. We want these events to be free for your community. If you need to pay a smaller host fee, that’s OK. Please keep that in mind as you indicate how much your organization is able to pay per program on the application form. 

  • Can I host the Conversation Project in person? 

    • Not right now. While we look forward to gathering people together again in-person in the future, all Conversation Project programs will be virtual for the time being. 

  • I’m concerned about “Zoom bombing.” What should I do? 

    • Only give registered participants the link to access your event by directing potential participants to a registration page to sign up for your event, instead of broadcasting the direct link to the event widely.

 

Questions? Contact Rachel Bernstein at r.bernstein@oregonhumanities.org

The Conversation Project is made possible thanks to the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Oregon Cultural Trust, the Kinsman Foundation, NW Natural, and The Standard.

 

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