Mary Simons + Conversations From the Open Road

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Conversations From the Open Road is an immersion journalism program for Vermont high school and college students. Our program spans nearly a year, and begins with a 2-week road trip to a front line community who are innovating and enacting inspiring responses to a particular issue. We— a crew of 6 students, a videographer and director—listen to those people directly impacted and learn from as many people as possible, seeking complexity and deep context. We gather audio and video footage, and each student ultimately crafts a short journalistic video expressing a thread of the whole story. Together this collection is shown to schools, festivals and community dialogues throughout the following year. In this way, students are injected into the collective conversation about potential solutions and to raise awareness for a more compassionate humanity in Vermont.

Tiny House Villages Across the Country
with Mary Simons and the youth of Conversations from the Open Road

Six Vermont high school students drove and took Amtrak across the country in order to see first-hand the many inspiring tiny house villages that are intentionally designed to create homes for people who struggle with housing security. We listened and learned from people now residing in the beautiful homes and also those people who made this happen in their communities.

We are excited to share a bit what of we experienced.

We will be showing our journalistic video shorts about this project in January at community dialogues around Vermont.

—Celia Culcleasure, Illia Dennison, Kai Gilbert, Janessa Horgan, Abijah Palmer-Guest, Finn Rooney, and Tikko Freilich and Mary Simons

Panel of Journalists Covering Regional/National Housing

Erin Maile O'Keefe