About the Project

In the midst of COVID-19, socialization among community members has been deeply altered and many modes of engagement have been shut off. The hope of Charlotte Listens is to find crafty ways to reignite conversations between strangers and to re-imagining collective narrative sharing.

The contactless “storytelling payphone” experience seeks to redefine what community engagement can look in the midst of a pandemic by using a payphone as a form of asynchronous story-sharing. The contactless nature of the “Charlotte Listens” storytelling payphone allows participants to listen to the stories of others in Charlotte, share their own perspectives, and feel community connection, all while remaining safe.

How it Works

The “storytelling payphone” consists of a traditional payphone pedestal without the actual payphone inside. Instead, there is a panel with a QR code that prompts users to call our "storytelling hotline." Participants can choose to listen to 5 different short stories which were recorded by previous strangers. With the help of some guided story prompts, participants are then invited to share an anecdote or story of their own. As new stories are recorded on the payphone voicemail, the menu of story options is updated, so the 5 story options stay dynamic and may change from day to day.

Charlotte Listens Team

Charlotte Listens was created and developed by Sara Kate (SK) Baudhuin at the Charlotte Art League.