COVID-19 Listening and Creative Media Project launched with support from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

LITTLE ROCK , Ark. (July 21, 2020) – The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation is helping launch Reimagine Arkansas, a statewide digital media initiative, to amplify underheard voices and shape public understanding and decision-making during COVID-19.

“This partnership is a bold bet on those working the hardest during COVID-19,” said Rev. Shantell Hinton Hill, equity officer at the foundation. “We believe that collecting, curating and sharing these powerful stories will compel us to find better ways to support essential workers, during this pandemic and in the future.” 

With support from the Local Voices Network (LVN), an initiative of the nonprofit Cortico, Reimagine Arkansas will utilize LVN’s proprietary technology to connect with hundreds of Arkansans most impacted by the pandemic on issues about healthcare, education and childcare, criminal justice, housing and economic mobility. Each month, it will release a digital constellation kit with audio highlights from the virtual conversations and images produced by regional artists under Creative Commons licensing. This flexible, ready-to-send content will help journalists, creators, community leaders and influencers report and broadly distribute the information within their respective networks. 

“Reimagine Arkansas takes the simple act of listening and pairs it with an artistic activation of the imagination,” said Rev. Cory Anderson, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation chief innovation officer. “We are living in a moment of extreme hardship but also of infinite possibility. This project will help center those closest to the challenges and bring us closer to creating a more just and equitable future.”

No recordings or data from the conversations will be sold and participants will remain anonymous, if desired. Once complete, the full collection will be made available to those interested in studying the impact of this historical moment. 

“We are thrilled about the collaboration with Reimagine Arkansas,” said Parisa Parsa, CEO of Cortico. “Its creative use of LVN technology and innovative distribution strategy is an exciting expansion of our mission to amplify underheard voices and create stronger community connections.”

For more information about how to participate or access the transcripts, please contact info@reimaginearkansas.com.


About the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation exists to relentlessly pursue economic, educational, social, ethnic, and racial equity for all Arkansans. We believe that building pathways to opportunity requires broad systemic change. This comprehensive approach may take longer to prove impact, but we believe that it has a greater chance to be impactful and sustainable. We look for levers that offer the greatest promise to increase prosperity from one generation to the next. For more information, go to www.wrfoundation.org

About Local Voices Network

Local Voices Network is an initiative of Cortico, a non-profit 501(c)(3) in cooperation with the MIT Media Lab. Cortico builds systems that bring under-heard community voices, perspectives and stories to the center of a healthier public dialogue. Local Voices Network aims to surface the perspectives and concerns of residents through facilitated community conversations in person or online that invite anyone and everyone to the table to speak and be heard. Conversations are recorded and transcribed with the goal of offering media, local leadership, and the greater public a new window into the most important community concerns and ideas.

Reimagine Arkansas

Because the future belongs to all of us.