The Listening Wall set to be released in October

Ryanne Locker

David Hassler, director of the Wick Poetry Center, said the Traveling Stanzas Listening Wall is set to be finished and ready for the public by the end of October as part of the May 4 Memorial.

The Listening Wall features technology created by design firms in Kent and is funded by a grant from the Knight Foundation Arts and Technology Prototype fund for $50,000. 

The wall will have large four by seven feet wide touch screens that will play two minute long excerpts from the Kent State Shootings Oral Histories Project Archives

When people approach the exhibit, they will have the option to pick a story based on a theme or subject relating to May 4.

While they are listening to the story, there will be a transcript of the recording shown on the screen. The idea of this is so that people can pick the words that resonate with them.

When they select a word, a word pool will form. Even when the first story is done and you move onto another one, the original word pool will stay and you can pick new words from different stories to add to your word pool. 

“[People] can move those words around like a giant refrigerator magnet kit and make their own creative reflection,” Hassler said. 

With their word pool, people can create their own reflection and have it recorded by the Listening Wall. 

“Their video goes onto the wall and joins a community,” Hassler said. “A section of community voices so [it] builds a community conversation.”

Along with the addition of the Listening Wall, the Wick Poetry Center will also be having a reading series throughout the school year featuring well-known national and local poets.

Ryanne Locker is a social sciences reporter. Contact her at [email protected]